We examined the relationship between abdominal visceral fat (AVF) and plasma concentrations of lipids and lipoproteins in 19 females (F) (not on estrogen) and 31 males (M) over the age of 60 (age = 66.8 years). In addition, the effects of growth hormone (GH) release, fitness (Vo(2) peak), insulin, and glucose concentrations (both fasting and in response to an oral glucose tolerance test) on lipids were examined. Subjects were categorized by low (L) and high (H) AVF (L < 130 cm(2), H > 130 cm(2)), fat mass (FM) (above or below median value), and AVF corrected for fat mass. Factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that when subjects were divided by AVF and FM, similar results were observed with H > L (P <.05) for very-low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (VLDL-C), triglycerides (TG), VLDL-TG, apolipoprotein (apo)-B, apo-B VLDL, cholesterol (Chol)/high-density lipoprotein (HDL), LDL/HDL, apoB/A1 and L > H for HDL, HDL(2), HDL(3), apo A1, and LDL/apo-B LDL. Gender differences were also observed with F > M for Chol, LDL, HDL, and HDL(2). When AVF was corrected for FM, these gender differences were still present. After correcting for FM, differences remained between H and L AVF groups for VLDL, TG, VLDL-TG, apo-B, apo-B LDL, apo-B VLDL, apoB/A1 (P <.05). Twenty-four hour integrated GH concentration (IGHC) was inversely related to VLDL, TG, VLDL TG, LDL TG, apoB, apoB VLDL, apoB LDL, Chol/HDL, LDL/HDL, and apoB/A1 in F, but not M (P <.05). Vo(2) peak was directly related to Chol, LDL, HDL(3), and apoB LDL with stronger relationships observed in F. Fasting insulin was related to lipids and lipoproteins in both men and women. These data suggest that, in older adults, elevated levels of AVF, FM, and AVF corrected for FM are associated with unfavorable lipid-lipoprotein profiles and extend similar findings reported in younger males and females with elevated AVF. These data also support previous findings indicating that AVF is a primary determinant of GH release.