Aims/hypothesis. Type 2 diabetes is not only associated with hyperglycaemia, but also with disorders of lipid metabolism. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of triglyceride and non-HDL-cholesterol concentrations with cardiovascular disease in subjects with normal and abnormal glucose metabolism. Methods. Subjects were 869 men and 948 women aged 50 to 75 who participated in the Hoorn Study, a population-based cohort study that started in 1989. Glucose metabolism was determined by a 75 g OGTT. High fasting triglyceride and non-HDL-cholesterol concentrations were defined as above the median of the study population. Results. After 10 years of follow-up, the age- and sex-adjusted hazard ratios for cardiovascular disease were 1.35 (1.11-1.64) and 1.71 (1.40-2.08) for high triglycerides and high non-HDL-cholesterol, respectively, after mutual adjustment. After stratification for glucose metabolism status, the hazard ratios for cardiovascular disease for non-HDL-cholesterol were 1.70 (1.31-2.21) in normal glucose metabolism and 1.56 (1.12-2.18) in abnormal glucose metabolism. Triglycerides were not a risk factor in subjects with normal glucose metabolism, with a hazard ratio of 0.94 (0.73-1.22), but in subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism, the hazard ratio for cardiovascular disease was 1.54 (1.07-2.22). In subjects with abnormal glucose metabolism, the hazard ratio for the combined presence of high triglycerides and non-HDL-cholesterol was 2.12 (1.35-3.34). Conclusion. Our data suggest that in people with abnormal glucose metabolism, but not in those with normal glucose metabolism, high triglyceride concentration could be associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease, particularly in people with high non-HDL-cholesterol.