In children, but not adults with cystic fibrosis (CF), associations between essential fatty acids (FA) and bone mass have been reported. Low bone mineral density (BMD) is common in these patients. Previously we found a normal annual increase of BMD, suggesting a potential for attaining normal bone mass. The aim of the present study was to investigate phospholipid FA pattern in relation to bone in young adult men with CF compared with healthy controls. Fourteen male patients with CF were compared with forty-two healthy controls, using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry for total bone, lumbar spine and femur and peripheral quantitative computerised tomography for tibia and radius. A questionnaire concerning physical activity and nutrition was used. FA in serum phospholipids were measured using capillary GLC. CF patients did not differ in physical activity and anthropometry from controls. There were no differences in bone parameters between the two groups, but patients chronically colonised with Pseudomonas aeruginosa had lower BMD than non-colonised patients. The trabecular BMD in the tibia differed between patients and controls, but not after adjustment for age and weight. The endosteal circumference of the radius was significantly associated with serum phospholipid concentration of DHA and inversely with the n-6:n-3 FA ratio in CF patients but not in controls. The present study showed that young physically active adult males with classical CF obtained similar bone mass as controls, although influenced by pseudomonas colonisation. The association between DHA and long bone endosteal circumference suggested a later peak bone mass in those with CF compared with controls.