OBJECTIVE To compare the lipid and (apo-)lipoprotein profile and blood pressure of men with long-standing spinal cord injuries (SCI) to those of an age-matched able-bodied (AB) population, and to assess the most important determinants of this profile and blood pressure. DESIGN A cross-sectional study of persons with chronic SCI residing in the community. SETTING Tests were performed in a university research laboratory. SUBJECTS Thirty-seven men (age 37.4 +/- 12.0 yrs) with longstanding (14.7 +/- 8.6 yrs) SCI ranging from level C4/5 to L5 volunteered to participate. Comparisons were made with published data from 3,498 AB men, age 20 to 59 yrs, from the same country. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Lipid and lipoprotein profile (total cholesterol [TC], high-, low-, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [HDL-C, LDL-C and VLDL-C, respectively], and triglycerides [TG]), as well as aerobic power, activity level, anthropometric variables, and blood pressure. Multiple regression analyses assessed the most important determinants of the lipid and blood pressure profile. RESULTS None of the lipid variables were related to the lesion level. TC, HDL-C, and TC/HDL-C were not significantly different from the AB population. The most important determinants of TC, LDL-C, and the ratios TC/HDL and HDL-C/LDL-C were age, smoking behavior, and activity level. Aerobic power was not an important determinant of any lipid or (apo-)lipoprotein or blood pressure. CONCLUSION Men with long-standing SCI do not appear to have an essentially different coronary heart disease risk profile compared with AB persons. Modifiable risk factors such as activity level, smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index, and adipose tissue were more important than lesion level and aerobic power in the determination of the lipid and lipoprotein profile, suggesting several potential interventions.