The aim of this study was to compare the strength of associations and discrimination capability of body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) with cardiovascular disease risk in individuals with type-2 diabetes.Eleven thousand, one hundred and forty men and women were followed for a mean of 4.8 years. The Cox proportional hazard models were used to compute the hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) for one standard deviation (SD) increase in baseline BMI (SD: 5 kg/m2), WC (SD: 13 cm) and WHR (SD: 0.08) with cardiovascular disease risk. After adjustment, hazard ratio (95% CI) for WC were 1.10 (1.03–1.18) for cardiovascular events, 1.13 (1.03–1.24) for coronary events, and 1.08 (0.98–1.19) for cardiovascular deaths. Estimates for WHR were 1.12 (1.05–1.19), 1.17 (1.08–1.28) and 1.19 (1.09–1.31). BMI was not related to any of these outcomes. Although the receiver operating characteristic curve could not differentiate between anthropometric variables (P values 0.24), the relative integrated discrimination improvement statistic showed an enhancement in the discrimination capabilities of models using WHR for cardiovascular outcomes, except for cerebrovascular events.Strengths of associations and discrimination statistics suggested that WHR was the best predictor of cardiovascular events and mortality in patients with type-2 diabetes and BMI the worst.