Platelet function and phospholipid composition, plasma lipids and dietary intakes were assessed in 20 vegan subjects and 20 age- and sex-matched omnivore controls. The intakes of saturated fat were lower in the vegans and those of linoleic and linolenic acids were greater. Eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids were absent from the diets of the vegans. Plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein concentrations were lower in the male vegan subjects and those of carotene were greater compared with their controls. The platelet phospholipids of the vegans contained higher proportions of linoleic (18:2n-6) and adrenic (22:4n-6) acids and lower proportions of arachidonic (20:4n-6), eicosapentaenoic (20:5n-3), docosapentaenoic (22:5n-3) and docosahexaenoic (22:6n-3) acids. Template bleeding times, platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate, compound U44619 and collagen were similar in both groups.