Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and hyperhomocysteinemia are both associated with premature vascular disease. We tested the hypothesis that homocysteine is associated with vascular disease and other diabetic complications in patients with NIDDM. The current investigation is a cross-sectional analysis of baseline variables for participants in the Appropriate Blood Pressure Control in Diabetes (ABCD) Trial. Men and women aged 40 to 74 years with NIDDM and a mean diastolic blood pressure (BP) of 80 mm Hg or higher were eligible. We measured serum levels of total homocysteine (tHcy), cystathionine, and methylmalonic acid (MMA) and correlated these values with clinical and other laboratory measures of the complications of diabetes mellitus in 452 subjects. tHcy was higher in males than in females and correlated with the duration of hypertension and systolic BP. tHcy was significantly correlated with MMA (r = .35, P < .0001) and cystathionine (r = .53, P < .0001) levels and inversely correlated with serum B12 (r = -.23, P < .0001) and folate (r = -.18, P < .0001). It was significantly correlated with serum creatinine (r = .28, P < .0001 for males and r = .39, P < .0001 for females) and inversely correlated with creatinine clearance (r = -.19, P < .005 for males and r = -.30, P < .0001 for females). tHcy was not increased in subjects with cardiovascular disease or retinopathy, but it was increased in those with neuropathy (10.3 v 9.3 micromol/L, P < .05) and macroalbuminuria (11.0 v 9.2 micromol/L, P < .005). Of these subjects, 2.2% met the criteria for vitamin B12 deficiency and 1% met the criteria for folate deficiency. We conclude that elevations of tHcy in this population appear to be the result of a combination of vitamin deficiency and decreased renal function and do not appear to be a predictor of cardiovascular disease.