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To investigate the enzymatic activity of hepatic lipase (HL) in postmenopausal women (PMW) and reproductive age women (RAW); and to evaluate the relationship between this enzyme and the atherogenic intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL) and low density lipoproteins (LDL), and antiatherogenic high density lipoproteins (HDL) and its subfractions (HDL2 and HDL3).We studied 55 PMW receiving no hormonal treatment in a cross-sectional study in comparison with a control group of 55 RAW, matched by body mass index. Follicle-stimulating hormone was > 40 mUI/ml in PMW and 3–12 mUI/ml in RAW. PMW presented at least 1 year of natural menopause and no more than 10 years of amenorrhea with E2 serum concentration <15 pg/ml.HL activity was significantly higher in PMW versus RAW (14.0 ± 1.4 vs. 10.9 ± 0.4 μmol of fatty acids/ml of postheparin plasma, respectively, mean ± SEM, p < 0.001). In PMW, IDL cholesterol showed a positive correlation with LDL cholesterol (r = 0.28, p < 0.05), and HDL2 cholesterol was inversely correlated with HL activity (r = 0.31, p < 0.05). HL was positively correlated with plasma concentration of LDL cholesterol in both groups (r = 0.27, p < 0.05). The higher values of HL activity and IDL cholesterol were independent of age.Higher HL activity is associated with a more atherogenic profile in PMW.