AIMS: To explore the association between carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) and the apolipoprotein B (apoB)/apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) ratio compared with conventional lipids in middle-aged patients with Type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We analysed data from 247 patients with Type 2 diabetes, aged 55-66 years, in the Cardiovascular Risk factors in Patients with Diabetes-a Prospective study in Primary care (CARDIPP-1) study. Primary care nurses measured blood pressure and anthropometric characteristics. Blood samples were taken for laboratory analyses. The carotid IMT was determined by ultrasonography at the University Hospital in Linköping and at the County Hospital Ryhov, Jönköping, Sweden. RESULTS: The ApoB/apoA-I ratio (r = 0.207, P = 0.001), apoB (r = 0.166, P = 0.009) and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-c) (r = 0.129, P = 0.046) correlated with IMT. Conventional lipids, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) and systolic blood pressure were not significantly correlated to IMT. A stepwise logistic regression analysis was conducted with IMT as the dependent variable and the apoB/apoA-I ratio, HbA(1c), hsCRP, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-c), total cholesterol, non-HDL-c and treatment with statins as independent variables. Following adjustment for age and gender, only the apoB/apoA-I ratio remained significantly associated with IMT (odds ratio 4.3, 95% confidence intervals 1.7-10.8, P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that there was a significant association between the apoB/apoA-I ratio and IMT in middle-aged patients with Type 2 diabetes. The association was independent of conventional lipids, hsCRP, glycaemic control and use of statins.