PURPOSE To determine the predictive value of serum lipid levels on the development of later cardiovascular events after abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) surgery. METHODS A total of 101 patients under 70 undergoing an elective AAA surgery were divided into the following two groups: 1) those who developed later cardiovascular events after AAA surgery, including cerebral infarction (n = 4), catheter intervention (PCI) or surgery for coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 9) and other vascular disease. (CVE group; n = 19); 2) those without later events (NoCVE group: n = 82). Preoperative atherosclerotic risk factors including serum lipid levels were subjected to univariate and multivariate analysis. RESULTS The CVE group showed a significantly lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) level (32.9 ± 6.6 vs 41.6 ± 12.1 mg/dL; p <0.001), higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) / HDL-C ratio (4.30 ± 1.01 vs 3.24 ± 1.15; p = 0.001), and higher prevalence of mild CAD (without an indication of PCI) (p = 0.029) preoperatively. Cox hazard analysis indicated that preexistent mild CAD (hazard ratio 4.70) and preoperative HDL-C <35 mg/dL (hazard ratio 3.07) were significant predictors for later cardiovascular events after AAA surgery. CONCLUSION Patients at high risk for later cardiovascular events should require a careful follow-up and may also require an aggressive lipid-modifying therapy.