Aims/hypothesis : ADAMTS13 is a protease that breaks down von Willebrand factor (VWF) multimers into smaller, less active particles. VWF has been associated with an increased risk of incident type 2 diabetes mellitus. Here, we determine whether ADAMTS13 activity and VWF antigen are associated with incident diabetes. ; Methods : This study included 5176 participants from the Rotterdam Study, a prospective population-based cohort study. Participants were free of diabetes at baseline and followed up for more than 20 years. Cox proportional hazards models were used to examine the association of ADAMTS13 activity and VWF antigen with incident diabetes. ; Results : ADAMTS13 activity was associated with an increased risk of incident diabetes (HR 1.17 [95% CI 1.08, 1.27]) after adjustment for known risk factors and VWF antigen levels. Although ADAMTS13 activity was positively associated with fasting glucose and insulin, the association with incident diabetes did not change when we adjusted for these covariates. ADAMTS13 activity was also associated with incident prediabetes (defined on the basis of both fasting and non-fasting blood glucose) after adjustment for known risk factors (HR 1.11 [95% CI 1.03, 1.19]), while the VWF antigen level was not. VWF antigen was associated with incident diabetes, but this association was attenuated after adjustment for known risk factors. ; Conclusions/interpretation : ADAMTS13 activity appears to be an independent risk factor for incident prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. As the association between ADAMTS13 and diabetes did not appear to be explained by its cleavage of VWF, ADAMTS13 may have an independent role in the development of diabetes.