An epidemiologic study of cholesterol and other risk factors was carried out, which included 1,011 women and 1,001 men older than 20 years, in Acapulco, Guerrero, México. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of hypercholesterolemia, as well as to establish the relation of cholesterol levels and the following variables: Age, obesity, hypertension, tobacco smoking and cardiovascular disease in relatives. This study was done in the months of March-August 1991. The prevalence of high cholesterol was 36 percent in women with an average of 189 mg/dl, and 30 percent for men with an average of 183 mg/dl. The difference between levels of cholesterol of men and women reached statistical significance. The average levels of serum cholesterol were higher in older, overweight, hypertensive individuals and the differences were statistically significative. Although the average serum cholesterol level was higher in individuals with history of cardiovascular problems, the differences were not significative. There were no differences in cholesterol levels in individuals with tobacco smoking habits. The prevalence of high cholesterol found means that is an important risk factor for this population, which, added to the other identified factors and its statistical relation, define them as a population with high cardiovascular risk.