Serum paraoxonase 1 (PON1) activity and the oxidation of lipoproteins were investigated in 35 women with preeclampsia and in 35 healthy control women with normal pregnancies. Blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), serum levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), apolipoprotein A1 (ApoA1), apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and lipoprotein (a) (Lp[a]), and PON1 activity were assessed. There were no significant between-group differences in subject age, gestational age at diagnosis of preeclampsia, BMI, serum total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and ApoB levels. Mean systolic and diastolic blood pressures and serum Lp(a) were significantly higher in subjects with pre-eclampsia than in controls. Mean serum HDL, ApoA1 and PON1 activity were significantly lower in subjects with pre-eclampsia compared with controls. In conclusion, lipids and oxidized lipoproteins may play important roles in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.