The aim of the study was to assess the relationship between the autonomic nerve disturbance and atherosclerotic changes in patients with type 2 diabetes. Aortic distensibility and max carotid intima-media thickness (Max IMT) were evaluated using brachial ankle pulse wave velocity (PWV) and high-resolution B-mode ultrasonography, respectively, in 135 patients (69 men, 66 women, 57 +/- 16 years) with type 2 diabetes. The autonomic neuropathy was evaluated using coefficient of variation of the RR interval (CV(R-R)) of electrocardiograms recorded at rest in a supine position. There was a significant negative correlation between CV(R-R)and Max IMT (r= -0.488, p< 0001). There were also significant negative correlations between CVR-(R a)nd the left and the right PWV(r=0.518, p<0.001; r=0.551, p<0.001, respectively). Patients with normal Max IMT, but decreased CVR-R, had a high PWV compared to patients with normal Max IMT and normal CVR-(R. )Therefore, decreased CVR-(R i)n type 2 diabetic patients may reflect atherosclerotic changes. Thus, the measurement of CVR-(R i)s a simple and quantitative test for assessing atherosclerotic as well as neuropathic complications in diabetic patients.