Sustained hyperglycemic stimulation of vascular cells is involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus‑induced cardiovascular complications. Silent information regulator T1 (SIRT1), a mammalian sirtuin, has been previously recognized to protect endothelial cells against hyperglycemia‑induced oxidative stress. In the present study, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUV‑EC‑C) were treated with D‑glucose, and the levels of oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, the rate of apoptosis and SIRT1 activity were measured. The effect of manipulated SIRT1 activity on hyperglycemia‑induced oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis was then assessed using the SIRT1 activator, resveratrol (RSV), and the SIRT1 inhibitor, sirtinol. The present study confirmed that hyperglycemia promotes oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in HUV‑EC‑C cells. The accumulation of reactive oxygen species, the swelling of mitochondria, the ratio of adenosine 5'‑diphosphate to adenosine 5'‑triphosphate and localized mitochondrial superoxide levels were all increased following D‑glucose treatment, whereas the mitochondrial membrane potential was significantly reduced by >50 mg/ml D‑glucose treatment. In addition, hyperglycemia was confirmed to induce apoptosis in HUV‑EC‑C cells. Furthermore, the results confirmed the prevention and aggravation of hyperglycemia‑induced apoptosis by RSV treatment and sirtinol treatment, via the amelioration and enhancement of oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction in HUV‑EC‑C cells, respectively. In conclusion, the present study revealed that hyperglycemia promotes oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis in HUV‑EC‑C cells, and manipulation of SIRT1 activity regulated hyperglycemia‑induced mitochondrial dysfunction and apoptosis in HUV‑EC‑C cells. The data revealed the protective effect of SIRT1 against hyperglycemia‑induced apoptosis via the alleviation of mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress.