We analysed the relationship between fasting plasma glucose, carotid intima media thickness and some atherosclerosis risk factors in 307 non-diabetic individuals. Male (n = 120) and female subjects (n = 187) with a familial history of Type II diabetes mellitus and/or obesity and hyperlipoproteinaemia were examined in the age group 40-70 years. Plasma triglycerides, total and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, plasminogen activator inhibitor were measured by conventional methods. Specific insulin, pro-insulin and C-peptide were measured by specific enzyme immunoassay. Intima media thickness increased in quintiles for fasting plasma glucose in men, but not in women. There was a rise of triglycerides, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, plasminogen activator inhibitor, true insulin, proinsulin, C-peptide and a decrease of high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol in quintiles for fasting plasma glucose. Fasting plasma glucose was found to be significantly positively correlated to intima media thickness, body mass index, waist to hip ratio, haemoglobin A1c, insulin, C-peptide, triglycerides, plasminogen activator inhibitor and significantly negatively correlated to high density lipoprotein cholesterol. However, the correlation of fasting plasma glucose to intima media thickness was no longer significant after adjustment for age and sex. After adjustment for age and sex intima media thickness was significantly correlated to body mass index, total cholesterol, triglycerides, albuminuria and inversely correlated to high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. In multivariate analysis age, male sex, high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol and total cholesterol were significant determinants of intima media thickness. Our data suggest that a weak association exists between fasting plasma glucose and intima media thickness, which may be mediated by a clustering of risk factors in the upper range of non-diabetic fasting plasma glucose level with a central role for dyslipidaemia.