Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is responsible for the hydrolysis of triglyceride (TG)-rich lipoproteins. The aims of the present study were (1) to test for potential linkages (sib-pair method) between postheparin plasma lipase (lipoprotein and hepatic lipase) activities, body fatness, plasma lipid concentrations, and LPL poiymorphisms (Ser447Ter and a tetranucleotide repeat) and microsatellite markers flanking the LPL locus (D8S261 and D8S258); and (2) to investigate associations between the LPL Ser447Ter (S447X) polymorphism and these phenotypes. Data on 190 parents and 312 adult offspring from 99 Caucasian families participating in the HERITAGE Family Study were available for this study. Data were adjusted for the effects of age within sex, and lipases, lipid variables, and abdominal visceral fat were further adjusted for fat mass. A suggestive linkage was observed only between the S447X polymorphism and very-low-density (VLDL)-apolipoprotein B (apo B) (332 sib-pairs, P = .013). The S447X polymorphism was not associated with body fat phenotypes or postheparin plasma LPL (PH-LPL) activity (men, P = .19; women, P = .47). In contrast, the X447 allele carriers had lower plasma TG (men and women, P = .01), VLDL-TG (men and women, P = .01), and VLDL-apo B (men and women, P = .009). The relationships between the X447 allele and plasma TG, VLDL-TG, and VLDL-apo B in both genders were observed in obese (body mass index [BMI] ≥ 30 kg/m2) but not in normal-weight (BMI < 25 kg/m2) subjects. Thus, the S447X polymorphism of the LPL gene is not associated with body fatness and postheparin plasma lipase activities. However, the obese carriers of the X447 allele have plasma TG, VLDL-TG, and plasma cholesterol/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels equivalent to those of normal-weight sedentary adults. Copyright (C) 2000 by W. B. Saunders Company.