OBJECTIVE - The association between changes in triglyceride concentrations over time and diabetes is unknown. We assessed whether two triglyceride determinations obtained 5 years apart can predict incident type 2 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Triglyceride levels at baseline (time 1) and 5 years later (time 2), followed by subsequent follow-up of 5.5 years, were measured in 13,953 apparently healthy men (age 26-45 years) with triglycerides <300 mg/dl (<3.39 mmol/1). RESULTS- During 76,742 person-years, 322 cases of diabetes occurred. A multivariate model adjusted for age, BMI, total cholesterol-to-HDL cholesterol ratio, family history of diabetes, fasting glucose, blood pressure, physical activity, and smoking status revealed a continuous independent rise in incident diabetes with increasing time 1 triglyceride levels (Ptrend < 0.001). Men in the lowest tertile of time 1 triglyceride levels who progressed to the highest tertile over follow-up (low-high) exhibited a hazard ratio (HR) of 12.62 (95% CI 3.52-31.34) compared with those remaining in the lowest tertile at both time points (reference group: low-low). Whereas men who were at the top triglyceride level tertile throughout follow-up (high-high) had a HR for diabetes of 7.08 (2.52-14.45), those whose triglyceride level decreased to the lowest tertile (high-low) exhibited a HR of 1.97 (0.67-6.13). Alterations in triglyceride levels during follow-up were associated with changes in BMI, physical activity, and eating breakfast habit (P < 0.05), but remained an independent modifier of diabetes risk even after adjustment for such changes. CONCLUSIONS - Two measurements of fasting triglyceride levels obtained 5 years apart can assist in identifying apparently healthy young men at increased risk for diabetes, independent of traditional risk factors and of associated changes in BMI and lifestyle parameters.