Several studies suggest that diabetes is associated with a hypercoagulable state. Therefore determination of thrombin-antithrombin complex (TAT) could represent a sensitive parameter for specific detection of a latent activation of the clotting system. The present study documents increased plasma TAT in a heterogeneous group of non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients. The finding of increased TAT levels both in diabetic patients with vascular complications and in vascular disease patients without diabetes suggests a relationship between existing vascular disease and the hemostatic mechanism that produces augmented thrombin activity. In acute vascular occlusions the presence of diabetes seems to increase activation of the coagulative system.