The aim was to determine whether serum prorenin levels affect the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR) in type 2 diabetes. Baseline serum prorenin levels were measured in 196 patients (85 males, 111 females) with type 2 diabetes without DR using the antibody-activating direct prorenin assay. The fundi were checked regularly. The participants were divided into two groups based on the serum prorenin levels (high and low). We used Kaplan-Meyer analysis to detect differences in the development of DR between the two groups within the same gender. Kaplan-Meyer analysis showed that males with a high serum prorenin level tended to develop DR earlier and more frequently than males with a low prorenin level ( p = 0.004 by the log rank test). However, there was no difference in the development of DR between high and low groups in females (p = 0.58). Serum prorenin levels in males with type 2 diabetes could be a new prognostic indicator of the development of DR.