Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to examine the effect of postprandial time on the associations and predictive value of non-fasting lipid levels and cardiovascular disease risk in participants with diabetes. Methods: This study was conducted among 1,337 participants with diabetes from the Dutch and German (Potsdam) contributions to the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. At baseline, total cholesterol, LDL- and HDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations were measured and the ratio of total cholesterol/HDL-cholesterol was calculated. Participants were followed for incidence of cardiovascular disease. Results: Lipid concentrations changed minimally with increasing postprandial time, except for triacylglycerol which was elevated just after a meal and declined over time (1.86 at 0.1 h to 1.33 at >6 h, p for trend <0.001). During a mean follow-up of 8 years, 116 cardiovascular events were documented. After adjustment for potential confounders, triacylglycerol (HR for third tertile compared with first tertile (HRt3to1), 1.73 [95% CI 1.04, 2.87]), HDL-cholesterol (HR t3to1, 0.41 [95% CI 0.23, 0.72]) and total cholesterol/HDL- cholesterol ratio (HRt3to1, 1.65 [95% CI 0.95, 2.85]) were associated with cardiovascular disease, independent of postprandial time. Cardiovascular disease risk prediction using the UK Prospective Diabetes Study risk engine was not affected by postprandial time. Conclusions/interpretation: Postprandial time did not affect associations between lipid concentrations and cardiovascular disease risk in patients with diabetes, nor did it influence prediction of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it may not be necessary to use fasting blood samples to determine lipid concentrations for cardiovascular disease risk prediction in patients with diabetes.