BACKGROUND: Blood lipids and inflammatory markers levels have been associated with the development and progression of atherosclerosis. As the association of inflammatory markers with plasma fatty acids has not been extensively evaluated and understood, we sought to investigate the associations between dietary and plasma fatty acids with various inflammation and coagulation markers. METHODS: High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), fibrinogen, and homocysteine were measured in serum of 374 free-living, healthy men and women, randomly selected from the ATTICA's study database. Total plasma fatty acids were determined by gas chromatography. Dietary fatty acids were assessed through a semi-quantitative FFQ. RESULTS: Multi-adjusted regression analyses revealed that plasma n-3 fatty acids were inversely associated with CRP, IL-6 and TNF-alpha; plasma n-6 fatty acids were inversely associated with CRP, IL-6 and fibrinogen; monounsaturated fatty acids were inversely associated with CRP and IL-6 (all p-values<0.05). Interestingly, the n-6/n-3 ratios exhibited the strongest positive correlations with all the markers studied. No associations were observed between dietary fatty acids and the investigated markers. CONCLUSIONS: Measurements of total plasma fatty acids could provide insights into the relationships between diet and atherosclerotic disease. Moreover, the n-6/n-3 ratio may constitute a predictor of low-grade inflammation and coagulation.