Background: Despite increasing evidence that β-hydroxy-β-methyglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors reduce the incidence of stroke in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), the associations between blood lipid levels and cerebrovascular disease (CVD) are not clear. Objective: To evaluate whether blood cholesterol level and its fractions are risk factors for stroke in a large group of patients with CHD. Methods: We followed up 11177 patients with documented CHD who were screened for but not included in the Bezafibrate Infarction Prevention study, a secondary prevention randomized clinical trial of lipid modification, and had no history of stroke for subsequent CVD. During a 6 to 8-year follow-up period, 941 patients were identified as having nonhemorrhagic CVD, of whom 487 had verified ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). Results: Increases in age-adjusted rates of both non-hemorrhagic CVD and verified ischemic stroke or TIA were identified with increasing cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, decreasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, and decreasing percentage of total serum cholesterol contained in the HDL moiety. In logistic regression models, adjusting for clinical covariates, the following odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) were identified for lipid values in the upper vs lower tertile for the end point of nonhemorrhagic CVD: total cholesterol, 1.43 (1.20-1.70); low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 1.52 (1.27-1.81), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, 0.84 (0.70-1.00); and percentage of serum cholesterol contained in HDL, 0.69 (0.58-0.83). Similar trends appeared for the end point of verified ischemic stroke or TIA. Conclusion: These findings clearly support the role of total cholesterol and its fractions in prediction of ischemic CVD among patients with established CHD.