Background and objective Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and hyperlipidaemia are independent risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This study investigates the association between OSA and prevalence of hyperlipidaemia in patients of the European Sleep Apnea Database (ESADA) cohort. Methods The cross-sectional analysis included 11 892 patients (age 51.9 +/- 12.5 years, 70% male, body mass index (BMI) 31.3 +/- 6.6 kg/m(2), mean oxygen desaturation index (ODI) 23.7 +/- 25.5 events/h) investigated for OSA. The independent odds ratio (OR) for hyperlipidaemia in relation to measures of OSA (ODI, apnoea-hypopnoea index, mean and lowest oxygen saturation) was determined by means of general linear model analysis with adjustment for important confounders such as age, BMI, comorbidities and study site. Results Hyperlipidaemia prevalence increased from 15.1% in subjects without OSA to 26.1% in those with severe OSA, P < 0.001. Corresponding numbers in patients with diabetes were 8.5% and 41.5%, P < 0.001. Compared with ODI quartile I, patients in ODI quartiles II-IV had an adjusted OR (95% CI) of 1.33 (1.15-1.55), 1.37 (1.17-1.61) and 1.33 (1.12-1.58) (P < 0.001), respectively, for hyperlipidaemia. Obesity was defined as a significant risk factor for hyperlipidaemia. Subgroups of OSA patients with cardio-metabolic comorbidities demonstrated higher prevalence of HL. In addition, differences in hyperlipidaemia prevalence were reported in European geographical regions with the highest prevalence in Central Europe. Conclusion Obstructive sleep apnoea, in particular intermittent hypoxia, was independently associated with the prevalence of hyperlipidaemia diagnosis.