The life-span of stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) has been reported to become shorter by ingestion of some vegetable oils, including rapeseed oil, when given as the sole dietary fat. The present study was undertaken to examine if the ingestion of rapeseed (canola) oil affects blood coagulating time and erythrocyte membranes. Namely, SHRSP were orally given canola oil or soybean oil as the only dietary fat (10% of diet) for 4 weeks. After the 4-week feeding, activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) in the canola oil group (19.9+/-0.5 s, N=8) was significantly shorter than that in the soybean oil group (21.6+/-0.6 s, N=8, P<0. 05), though there were no between-group differences in plasma Ca(2+), platelet density and platelet aggregation. Erythrocytes from the canola oil group were less tolerant to low osmotic pressure than those from soybean oil group; the EC(50) values for NaCl concentration to cause hemolysis were 0.42+/-0.004 and 0.40+/-0.005% in the canola oil and the soybean oil groups, respectively (N=10, P<0.01). The canola oil-induced shortening of blood coagulation time and increased fragility in erythrocyte membranes may have relevance to the promotion of strokes in SHRSP.