The distribution of plasma lipids and their sociodemographic and metabolic correlates were investigated in two Arctic indigenous populations based on two health surveys conducted during 1990–1991 among adults in eight Inuit communities in the Keewatin region of the Northwest Territories, Canada (n = 387), and in four communities in the Chukotka region in the Russian Far North (n = 362). For comparison, data from the Canadian Heart Health Survey were used. The age-sex-specific mean total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol levels among Inuit in northern Canada either do not differ significantly from the Canadian national population, or, in the case of younger Inuit women, are higher than in Canadians. This represents a temporal change from the results of earlier studies. Chukotka Natives tend to have the lowest total cholesterol (TC) and LDL values of the three populations. The two indigenous populations still enjoy considerably lower levels of triglycerides (TG) and higher levels of high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol than observed in Canada, with the exception of younger Inuit women whose mean TG levels are not significantly different from those of Canadians. The proportion of individuals at risk for ischemic heart disease because of high TG (=2.3 mmol/L) is 20% among Canadian men but only 2% and 0% among the Arctic Natives, and 11% among Canadian women compared to 6% and 3% in the Keewatin and Chukotka regions, respectively. Such sociodemographic factors as education and marital status do not have a substantial and consistent effect on plasma lipid levels. Women with higher education have lower HDL (in Keewatin) and higher TG (in Chukotka), significant only at the 0.10 level. Among Chukotka men those who reported a lineage without nonindigenous admixture have a higher HDL level (P = 0.048). No difference between the admixed and nonadmixed can be found in the Keewatin. Smoking status has no significant effect on any of the lipid fractions in either population. The two Arctic populations demonstrate an association of some plasma lipids with blood pressure and indices of obesity and central fat patterning commonly observed in other populations. However, plasma glucose does not increase in tandem with increasing levels of lipids, contrary to that observed in the general Canadian population.