Epidemiological studies suggested that n-6 fatty acids, especially linoleic acid (LA), have beneficial effects on CHD, whereas some in vitro studies have suggested that n-6 fatty acids, specifically arachidonic acid (AA), may have harmful effects. We examined the association of serum n-6 fatty acids with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). A population-based cross-sectional study recruited 926 randomly selected men aged 40–49 years without CVD during 2002–2006 (310 Caucasian, 313 Japanese and 303 Japanese-American men). Plasma PAI-1 was analysed in free form, both active and latent. Serum fatty acids were measured with gas-capillary liquid chromatography. To examine the association between total n-6 fatty acids (including LA and AA) and PAI-1, multivariate regression models were used. After adjusting for confounders, total n-6 fatty acids, LA and AA, were inversely and significantly associated with PAI-1 levels. These associations were consistent across three populations. Among 915 middle-aged men, serum n-6 fatty acids had significant inverse associations with PAI-1.