Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have identified polymorphic loci associated with coronary artery disease (CAD) risk factors (i.e. serum lipids) in adult populations (42-69 y). We hypothesized that younger populations would show a greater relative genetic component due to fewer confounding variables. We examined the influence of 20 GWAS loci associated with serum lipids and insulin metabolism, in a university student cohort (n = 548; mean age = 24 y), and replicated statistically associated results in a second study cohort of primary school students (n = 810, mean age = 11.5 y). Nineteen loci showed no relationship with studied risk factors in young adults. However, the ancestral allele of the rs646776 (SORT1) locus was strongly associated with increased LDL (C) in young adults [TT: 97.6 ± 1.0 mg/dL (n = 345) versus CT/CC: 87.3 ± 1.0 mg/dL (n = 203); p = 3 × 10] and children [TT: 94.0 ± 1.3 mg/dL (n = 551) versus CT/CC: 84.7 ± 1.4 mg/dL (n = 259); p = 4 × 10]. This locus is responsible for 3.6% of population variance in young adults and 2.5% of population variance in children. The effect size of the SORT1 locus is considerably higher in young populations (2.5-4.1%) compared with older subjects (1%).