The potential role of haemostatic risk markers is largely unexplored in South Asians, who have increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease and an increased prevalence of insulin resistance. To investigate differences in thrombotic risk markers between South Asian and White populations, 42 Asian and 50 White males and 96 Asian and 80 White females, clinically free from vascular disease, were recruited. Venous blood samples were taken for measures of haemostasis and determination of blood lipids. South Asian females showed lower fasting blood glucose than White females (4.6 vs. 4.8 mmol/l, P<0.008). In the South Asian population, total cholesterol was lower in females, with a similar trend in males (females 5.0 vs. 5.5 mmol/l, P<0.001; males 5.1 vs. WM 5.5 mmol/l, P=0.09), but no difference in triglyceride levels. South Asian subjects of both genders had markedly higher levels of fibrinogen (females 3.3 vs. 2.8 mg/dl, P<0.0005; males 3.0 vs. 2.5 mg/dl P<0.002) and PAI-1 activity (females 14.6 vs. 8.7 ng/ml, P<0.0005, males 21.3 vs. 12.2 ng/ml, ) P<0.0005). Factor VII:C was lower in both South Asian groups (females 110.9 vs. 122.4%, P<0.005; males 103.3 vs. 125%, P<0.0005). Factor XII was lower in South Asian females and there were no differences in Factor XII levels in male populations. These results suggest that elevated PAI-1 and fibrinogen in Asians of both genders may contribute to the increased vascular risk experienced in this population; however, the role of dyslipidaemia and Factor VII are not clear in these processes.