Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a major independent risk factor for coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis accounts for about 80% of all deaths from type 2 diabetes, of which roughly 75% are attributable to coronary artery disease and the remainder to cerebrovascular or peripheral vascular events . The earlier onset and accelerated course of atherosclerosis in individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus is multifactorial. Type 2 diabetes is associated with abnormalities in lipoprotein metabolism and increased propensity for oxidative damage. The hyperglycemia of patients with type 2 diabetes, in itself, may accelerate vascular damage. Type 2 diabetes is a hypercoagulable state attributable to enhanced coagulation and decreased fibrinolysis, as well as platelet hyperaggregability and endothelial dysfunction. Hypertension is common in individuals with type 2 diabetes and has a major impact in the accelerated atherosclerosis of this disease. This review provides an overview of selected aspects of these alterations.