While type 2 diabetes is well-known to be associated with poorer cognitive performance, few studies have reported on the association of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and contributing factors, such as insulin-resistance (HOMA-IR), low adiponectin-, and high C-reactive protein (CRP)- levels. We studied whether these factors are related to cognitive function and which of the MetS components are independently associated. The study was embedded in an ongoing family-based cohort study in a Dutch population. All participants underwent physical examinations, biomedical measurements, and neuropsychological testing. Linear regression models were used to determine the association between MetS, HOMA-IR, adiponectin levels, CRP, and cognitive test scores. Cross-sectional analyses were performed in 1,898 subjects (mean age 48 years, 43% men). People with MetS had significantly higher HOMA-IR scores, lower adiponectin levels, and higher CRP levels. MetS and high HOMA-IR were associated with poorer executive function in women (P = 0.03 and P = 0.009). MetS and HOMA-IR are associated with poorer executive function in women.