INTRODUCTION: To develop and test a diabetes risk score to predict incident diabetes in an elderly Spanish Mediterranean population at high cardiovascular risk. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A diabetes risk score was derived from a subset of 1381 nondiabetic individuals from three centres of the PREDIMED study (derivation sample). Multivariate Cox regression model ß-coefficients were used to weigh each risk factor. PREDIMED-personal Score included body-mass-index, smoking status, family history of type 2 diabetes, alcohol consumption and hypertension as categorical variables; PREDIMED-clinical Score included also high blood glucose. We tested the predictive capability of these scores in the DE-PLAN-CAT cohort (validation sample). The discrimination of Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC), German Diabetes Risk Score (GDRS) and our scores was assessed with the area under curve (AUC). RESULTS: The PREDIMED-clinical Score varied from 0 to 14 points. In the subset of the PREDIMED study, 155 individuals developed diabetes during the 4.75-years follow-up. The PREDIMED-clinical score at a cutoff of ≥6 had sensitivity of 72.2%, and specificity of 72.5%, whereas AUC was 0.78. The AUC of the PREDIMED-clinical Score was 0.66 in the validation sample (sensitivity = 85.4%; specificity = 26.6%), and was significantly higher than the FINDRISC and the GDRS in both the derivation and validation samples. DISCUSSION: We identified classical risk factors for diabetes and developed the PREDIMED-clinical Score to determine those individuals at high risk of developing diabetes in elderly individuals at high cardiovascular risk. The predictive capability of the PREDIMED-clinical Score was significantly higher than the FINDRISC and GDRS, and also used fewer items in the questionnaire.