OBJECTIVE: Using the Monitoring of Trends and Determinants in Cardiovascular Disease (MONICA)/Cooperative Research in the Region of Augsburg (KORA) database, we investigated prospectively whether increased levels of soluble E-selectin (sE-selectin), soluble intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (sICAM-1), and von Willebrand factor (vWF), all considered to be sensitive markers of endothelial dysfunction, are associated with an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes mellitus. METHODS AND RESULTS: In a case-cohort study, concentrations of adhesion molecules were measured in stored samples of 532 case subjects and 1712 noncase subjects. VWF was measured in a subsample with available plasma samples (n=191 case and 580 noncase subjects). Men and women with elevated levels of sE-selectin had a significantly increased risk of type 2 diabetes after multivariable adjustment. Hazard ratios (95% CIs) comparing tertile extremes of sE-selectin were 2.63 (1.79 to 3.88) and 1.71 (1.07 to 2.75) for men and women, respectively. Elevated levels of sICAM-1 were also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes; however, the association was not independent of other diabetes risk factors including E-selectin [hazard ratio (95% CI) for tertile 3 versus tertile 1: men, 1.32 (0.89 to 1.96); women, 1.03 (0.64 to 1.67)]. In this study, vWF was not associated with risk of type 2 diabetes. CONCLUSIONS: These data support a role of endothelial dysfunction in the etiology of type 2 diabetes.