Objectives. To estimate the burden of disease attributable to high cholesterol in adults aged 30 years and older in South Africa in 2000. Design. World Health Organization comparative risk assessment (CRA) methodology was followed. Small community studies were used to derive the prevalence by population group. Population-attributable fractions were calculated and applied to revised burden of disease estimates for the relevant disease categories for each population group. The total attributable burden for South Africa in 2000 was obtained by adding the burden attributed to high cholesterol for the four population groups. Monte Carlo simulation-modelling techniques were used for uncertainty analysis.