Genetic studies have suggested that polymorphisms of genes coding for apolipoproteins are significant determinants of serum lipoprotein and lipid levels in adults. However, only a few studies have investigated the association of these polymorphisms in children. Therefore, in the present investigation we studied the distribution of APOA1 -75 G>A, +83 C>T, APOC3 -482 C>T, -455 T>C and 3238 C>G, and APOA4 Q360H and T347S polymorphisms and their influence on plasma lipoprotein levels in children from a Brazilian northeastern admixed population. The seven polymorphic sites were genotyped in 414 children aged 5 to 15 years (mean 8.9 ± 2.9). The genotypes of the seven polymorphic sites were assessed by PCR-RFLP methods. The frequencies of the less common alleles were, in general, intermediate among parental populations, as expected. Strong linkage disequilibrium was detected between polymorphisms at the APOA1, APOC3 and APOA4 loci in this admixed population sample. Overall the genotype effects seen in adults were weaker or absent in children. The APOC3/-455 and APOA4 T347S variants showed significant effects on HDL cholesterol in girls (P = 0.033 and P = 0.016, respectively). Significantly higher plasma total (P = 0.003) and LDL cholesterol (P = 0.004) levels were observed in boys who were carriers of the 3238G allele at the APOC3/3238 C>G site. These results disclosed an overall absence of associations between these polymorphisms and lipids in children. This finding is not unexpected because expression of the effect of these polymorphisms might depend on the interaction with environmental variables both internal and external to the individual.