Objective: Dyslipidaemia is present not only in diabetic but also in prediabetic subjects. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between lipid and glucose levels in a large European population without a prior history of diabetes. Research design and methods: Data from the population-based studies of 8960 men and 10,516 women aged 35-74 years representing 15 cohorts in 8 European countries were jointly analyzed. Multivariate adjusted linear regression analyses with standardized coefficients (beta) were performed to estimate the relationship between lipid and plasma glucose. Results: In subjects without a prior history of diabetes, positive relationships were shown between fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and total cholesterol (TC) (beta = 0.06 and 0.03, respectively for men and women, p <0.01), triglycerides (TG) (beta = 0.14 and 0.12, p <0.001), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (non-HDL-C) (beta = 0.06 and 0.03, p <0.01) and TC to HDL ratio (beta = 0.06 and 0.05,p <0.001) but a negative trend between FPG and HDL-C (beta = -0.02,p > 0.05 in men and beta = -0.03,p <0.05 in women). The relationship between lipid and 2-h plasma glucose (2hPG) followed a similar pattern as that for FPG, except that TC was not increased and HDL-C was reduced in both sexes in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT). Conclusions: For cardiovascular prevention, the different lipid patterns between impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and IGT may deserve further attention to evaluate the combined risks of dyslipidaemia and elevated glucose levels below the diagnostic threshold of diabetes.