OBJECTIVE: The study was conducted to estimate the association between serum total cholesterol concentration and mortality from suicide. METHOD: The baseline serum total cholesterol concentration of 37,635 adults was determined in five independent population surveys conducted during 1972–1992 in Finland. Mortality from different causes of death was monitored for a mean of 14.6 years after the survey dates. The means for violent suicides (N=130) included hanging, firearms, cutting, jumping, and unspecified means. The means for nonviolent suicides (N=46) included drug overdose, poisoning with gases, and drowning. RESULTS: Serum total cholesterol concentration was positively related to the risk of violent suicide. Among subjects whose serum total cholesterol concentration was in the highest category, the adjusted relative risk was more than twofold compared with the lowest category. The violent/nonviolent suicide ratio increased linearly with increasing cholesterol category. No association between serum total cholesterol concentration and the risk of nonviolent suicide was found. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to demonstrate the positive relationship of high serum total cholesterol concentration with increased risk of violent suicide.