Diabetes diagnoses are increasing at an alarming rate worldwide. The majority of diabetes-related deaths arise from cardiovascular complications such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Oxidative stress has been demonstrated to be present in animal models as well as in patients with diabetes and has been suggested as a possible contributor to the accelerated atherosclerosis seen in diabetics. The generation of reactive oxygen species in diabetes occurs via several mechanisms and is initiated not only by glucose, but also by other substances that are found at elevated levels in diabetic patients. The resulting oxidative stress leads to a number of proatherogenic events. The elucidation of the mechanisms of oxidative stress in diabetes and their relationship with atherosclerosis could potentially identify molecular targets of therapy for this condition and its cardiovascular consequences.