Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death, especially in individuals with diabetes mellitus, whose risk of morbidity and mortality due to cardiovascular disease is markedly increased compared with the general population. There has been growing interest in the identification of biomarkers of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. The present review focuses on the current and potential contributions of these biomarkers to predicting cardiovascular risk in individuals with diabetes. At present, certain biomarkers and biomarker combinations can lead to modest improvements in the prediction of cardiovascular disease in diabetes beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors. Emerging technologies may enable the discovery of novel biomarkers and generate new information about known biomarkers (such as new combinations of biomarkers), which could lead to significant improvements in cardiovascular disease risk prediction. A critical question, however, is whether improvements in risk prediction will affect processes of care and decision making in clinical practice, as this will be required to achieve the ultimate goal of improving clinical outcomes in diabetes.