Background: High-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels are inversely related to the atherosclerotic burden and are higher in women than in men. We aimed to investigate the sex-specific relationship between serum HDL-C levels and the Duke treadmill score (DTS) in this study. Materials and Methods: A total of 111 patients (59 men, 42 women) with suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) who underwent exercise treadmill test (EST) were included. Fasting blood samples were obtained for the assessment of serum lipid levels. DTS was calculated for each patient based on EST findings including ST segment deviation and symptoms. Results: Patients were categorized into a moderate to high risk group based on the DTS score (group-I: 38 patients) and a low risk group (group-II: 63 patients). There was a significant positive correlation between serum HDL-C levels and DTS (r = 0.230; P=0.021). The mean HDL-C level was significantly higher in group-II relative to group-I (49.25 ±11.21 vs. 44.43 ± 11.18, respectively, P = 0.04). An HDL-C level less than the cut-off value of 41.39 mg/dL predicted a moderate to severe risk DTS with 65% sensitivity and 69% specificity in men (area under curve = 0.732, P = 0.004), but not in women (area under curve = 0.505, P = 0.958). After adjustment for traditional CAD risk factors (age, sex, and smoking status), the relationship of DTS to HDL-C remained significant. (P = 0.030; adjusted OR = 0.948 [95% CI, 0.904-0.995]). Conclusion: Low HDL-C levels may be associated with a moderate to high risk Duke treadmill score in men, but not in women. Further research is required to clarify the sex-specific relationship between HDL-C and DTS.