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Based on recent epidemiological studies the need for a similar approach towards management of cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetics with different ethnic background can be questioned. We compared the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors and 10-year absolute risk for a coronary heart disease between Turkish and Dutch type 2 diabetes patients.A cross-sectional study was performed using databases from three Dutch studies on type 2 diabetes, comparing 147 Turkish to 294 Dutch diabetes patients, matched for age and gender. Main outcome measures were: total (t-) cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL), triglyceride, blood pressure, and smoking. The 10-year absolute risk for a coronary event was calculated by means of the Framingham risk equation.In Turkish diabetics t-cholesterol was lower than in Dutch (5.4 vs. 5.9 mmol/1; p < 0.001), in Turkish males HDL was lower than in Dutch male patients (0.94 vs. 1.08 mmol/1; p = 0.04). The total/HDL-cholesterol ratio in Turkish and Dutch diabetics was equal (5.4 vs. 5.4). Less Turkish than Dutch females smoked (9% vs. 23%; p < 0.01). The 10-year absolute risk for a coronary event in both Turkish and Dutch male patients was 24%; the risk in Turkish vs. Dutch females was 13% vs. 15% (not significant).The absolute risk for a coronary event in Turkish type 2 diabetes patients is similar to the risk in Dutch diabetes patients, although important differences in the risk profile exist, in particular, the lipid profile and smoking habits differ.