The aim of the present work was to evaluate the association between the inflammatory potential of the diet and the 10-year cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence in the ATTICA Study, and whether this is modified by the baseline presence or absence of metabolic syndrome (MetS).During 2001-2002, 3042 healthy adults (1514 men and 1528 women) living in the greater area of Athens were voluntarily recruited to the ATTICA study. In 2011-2012, the 10-year follow-up was performed in 2583 participants (15% of the participants were lost to follow-up). Incidence of fatal or non-fatal CVD event was recorded using WHO-ICD-10 criteria and MetS was defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment panel III (revised) definition. A proxy dietary anti-inflammatory index (D-AII) score computed using participants' diet records.The 10-year fatal or non-fatal CVD event rate was 157 cases/1000 participants. After adjusting for several confounding factors, an anti-inflammatory diet, as expressed by higher DII scores, was borderline associated with 10-year CVD incidence (OR3rd tertile vs. 1st tertile=0.98, 95%CI: 0.96-1.01). This inverse association was also verified among participants without MetS at baseline (OR3rd tertile vs. 1st tertile=0.97, 95%CI: 0.94-0.99), but not among participants with the MetS.Results of the present work verified the protective effect of an anti-inflammatory diet towards the 10-year CVD incidence among participants without MetS. In contrast, the presence of MetS already at baseline seemed to impede this anti-inflammatory diet protective effect, which underlines the independent importance of MetS on CVD risk.