OBJECTIVE The NH(2)-terminal portion of the precursor of brain natriuretic peptide (Nt-proBNP) has been reported to be elevated in left ventricular dysfunction. This peptide is a split product from the proBNP molecule, and its level in the circulation is not, as the mature BNP peptide, dependent on the peripheral number of BNP receptors. We aimed to test the hypothesis that asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction (ALVD), as estimated by Nt-proBNP, would be more prevalent in patients with type 2 diabetes without overt cardiovascular disease in comparison with matched control subjects. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The study population consisted of 253 patients with type 2 diabetes and 230 matched control subjects aged 40-70 years without any overt heart disease from primary care centers in Western Finland and Southern Sweden. Nt-proBNP was measured in plasma by competitive enzyme immunosorbent assay. RESULTS Patients with type 2 diabetes were shown to have higher Nt-proBNP values (360.9 pmol/l [262.6-467.9]) than control subjects (302.7 pmol/l [215.4-419.2]) (P < 0.001). Nt-proBNP levels were independently related to diabetes after adjustment for age, sex, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, BMI, heart rate, drug treatment, serum creatinine, and cystatin C. CONCLUSIONS Our data suggest that the secretion of Nt-proBNP is increased in type 2 diabetic patients with no overt heart disease, suggesting that type 2 diabetes is associated with a higher prevalence of ALVD than hitherto thought. Nt-proBNP may thus serve as a screening instrument to select patients with type 2 diabetes who could benefit from an echocardiographical examination.