Background/objectives: Elongases 2, 4 and 5, encoded by genes ELOVL2, ELOVL4 and ELOVL5, have a key role in the biosynthesis of very long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). To date, few studies have investigated the associations between elongase polymorphisms and cardiovascular health. We investigated whether ELOVL polymorphisms are associated with adipose tissue fatty acids, serum lipids, inflammation and ultimately with nonfatal myocardial infarction (MI) in a Costa Rican population. Subjects/methods: MI cases (n=1650) were matched to population-based controls (n=1650) on age, sex and area of residence. Generalized linear and multiple conditional logistic regression models were used to assess the associations between seven common ELOVL polymorphisms and cardiometabolic outcomes. Analyses were replicated in The Nurses' Health Study (n=1200) and The Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (n=1295). Results: Variation in ELOVL2, ELOVL4 and ELOVL5 was not associated with adipose tissue fatty acids, intermediate cardiovascular risk factors or MI. In the Costa Rica study, the number of the minor allele copies at rs2294867, located in the ELOVL5 gene, was associated with an increase in total and LDL cholesterol (adjusted P-values=0.001 and <0.0001 respectively). Additionally, the number of the minor allele copies at rs761179, also located in the ELOVL5 gene, was significantly associated with an increase in total cholesterol (adjusted P-value=0.04). However, the observed associations were not replicated in independent populations. Conclusion: Common genetic variants in elongases are not associated with adipose tissue fatty acids, serum lipids, biomarkers of systemic inflammation, or the risk of MI. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.