Type 2 diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) between two- and six-fold, and shortens life expectancy by 5 to 10 years. Once a person with diabetes has developed severe vascular complications, they will survive just five years on average. The epidemic growth worldwide in Type 2 diabetes and the severe vascular complications associated with it are an enormous burden to people with the condition and their families, and to society as a whole. However, over the last 10 years, a number of prospective studies have identified a series of modifiable risk factors for vascular complications. Crucial information has been gained from single risk factor intervention trials in both people who have diabetes and people who do not. The degree of risk reduction achieved by targeting individual risk factors has been varied.