OBJECTIVE - This study aimed to investigate the relation between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes among older women. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Between 1993 and 1997, 16,330 women aged 49-70 years and free from diabetes were enrolled in one of the Dutch Prospect-EPIC (European Prospective Study Into Cancer and Nutrition) cohorts and followed for 6.2 years (range 0.1-10.1). At enrollment, women filled in questionnaires and blood samples were collected. RESULTS - During follow-up, 760 cases of type 2 diabetes were documented. A linear inverse association (P = 0.007) between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk was observed, adjusting for potential confounders. Compared with abstainers, the hazard ratio for type 2 diabetes was 0.86 (95% CI 0.66-1.12) for women consuming 5-30 g alcohol per week, 0.66 (0.48-0.91) for 30-70 g per week, 0.91 (0.67-1.24) for 70-140 g per week, 0.64 (0.44-0.93) for 140-210 g per week, and 0.69 (0.47-1.02) for >210 g alcohol per week. Beverage type did not influence this association. Lifetime alcohol consumption was associated with type 2 diabetes in a U-shaped fashion. CONCLUSIONS - Our findings support the evidence of a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes with moderate alcohol consumption and expand this to a population of older women. © 2005 by the American Diabetes Association.