Diabetic retinopathy is a microvascular complication of hyperglycaemia. Little is known about the association of glucose metabolism and retinopathy signs in the non-diabetic middle-aged population. We studied prevalence of retinopathy in a subsample of Northern Finland Birth Cohort study (NFBC1966) of 1809 subjects, at 47 years of age, without previously diagnosed type 2 diabetes and/or blood pressure-lowering medication. All participants underwent clinical evaluations including an oral glucose tolerance test (glucose and insulin values measured at 0, 30, 60 and 120 min) and HbA1c. The retinopathy signs were diagnosed by fundus photographs and classified according to the Eurodiab classification scheme. The overall prevalence of newly diagnosed retinopathy was 1.4%. The retinopathy signs were significantly associated with increased 30 min, 1-h and 2-h glucose levels and 2-h insulin level in an OGTT. After adjustment with systolic blood pressure, only 30 min glucose, 1-h glucose and 2-h insulin levels were associated with retinopathy signs. Our findings show the potential role of 30 min and 1-h post-load glucose and 2-h insulin levels as risk factors for retinopathy lesions among the participants without previously diagnosed diabetes or hypertensive medication.