Arterial ultrasonic appearances using high resolution ultrasound were studied in 97 subjects with Type 2 diabetes and age- and sex-matched controls. The intima-media thickness of both common carotid arteries was measured 2 cm proximal to the bifurcation and the presence or absence of plaque on both common and femoral bifurcations was recorded. The mean intima-media thickness in subjects with diabetes was 0.82 +/- 0.22 mm while in the controls 0.66 +/- 0.13 mm (p < 0.001). Multiple regression in diabetic subjects only showed no correlation between age, sex, body mass index, smoking, duration of diabetes, systolic or diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol, HDL, LDL, triglycerides, HbA1 and the common carotid artery intima-media thickness. Type 2 diabetes is associated with increased intima-media thickness which has been found to be a marker of cardiovascular events in the general population.