A large number of cost-effectiveness analyses of treatment of high cholesterol levels have been published the last few years. Due to the inherent problems of cost-effectiveness analysis of prevention and the specific problems in the case of lipid lowering, it is important to test alternative approaches. This study reports the results of a pilot study of three benefit measures based on individual preferences. Willingness to pay (WTP), willingness to give up leisure time (WTGT) and maximum acceptable risk (MAR) for lowering cholesterol levels to normal were investigated among persons with hypercholesterolaemia in a postal survey. The respondents were on average prepared to pay about SEK 450 per month, to give up about 7 hours of leisure time per week or to take an immediate mortality risk of about 1.4% to get normal lipid levels. The WTP and WTGT questions seemed to be about equally acceptable, whereas the MAR question performed less well with respect to acceptability. It is concluded that especially WTP deserves further attention, due to its inherent advantages, since it performed at least as well as the other measures.