A recent study reported an association between the brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) promoter T-381C polymorphism (rs198389) and protection against type 2 diabetes (T2D). As replication in several studies is mandatory to confirm genetic results, we analyzed the T-381C polymorphism in seven independent case-control cohorts and in 291 T2D-enriched pedigrees totalling 39 557 subjects of European origin. A meta-analysis of the seven case-control studies (n = 39 040) showed a nominal protective effect [odds ratio (OR) = 0.86 (0.79-0.94), P = 0.0006] of the CC genotype on T2D risk, consistent with the previous study. By combining all available data (n = 49 279), we further confirmed a modest contribution of the BNP T-381C polymorphism for protection against T2D [OR = 0.86 (0.80-0.92), P = 1.4 x 10(-5)]. Potential confounders such as gender, age, obesity status or family history were tested in 4335 T2D and 4179 normoglycemic subjects and they had no influence on T2D risk. This study provides further evidence of a modest contribution of the BNP T-381C polymorphism in protection against T2D and illustrates the difficulty of unambiguously proving modest-sized associations even with large sample sizes.