A cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) genotype (V/V homozygosity for I405V, NCBI dbSNP rs5882) has been associated with preservation of cognitive function in old age, in addition to its associations with exceptional longevity and cardiovascular disease. We tested the hypotheses that this polymorphism was associated with either level of cognitive function or lifetime cognitive change in 525 participants who took part in the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932. Participants took the same well-validated mental ability test at ages 11 and 79. Scores were also available for several other mental ability tests at age 79, and history of cardiovascular disease was available. Frequency of the V/I genotype was slightly greater than expected in the sample, possibly consistent with some role for the V polymorphism in longevity, and the V/V genotype was associated with a lower rate of cardiovascular disease history. There were, however, no significant associations of CETP genotype with either childhood IQ or current cognitive function in old age, or with lifetime change in cognitive function.