The study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its risk factors among the attendees of primary health care centers in a Saudi suburban community. A cross-sectional survey was conducted during March and April 2002. Out of eight satellite clinics, four clinics were selected by using systematic random sampling. All 451 attendees older than 18 years were included in the study sample, but 71 of them refused to undergo the blood investigations. Thus, three hundred eighty (380) subjects were screened for diabetes mellitus and associated cardiovascular risk factors including the assessment of lifestyle, obesity, hypertension, smoking and hyperlipidemia. The prevalence of diabetes mellitus was found to be 15.8% (24.2% in males and 11.3% in females) only 23.3% of them were well controlled. Fifteen percent (15%) of the diabetics were undiagnosed. The mean fasting plasma glucose increased significantly with increase in age (p= 0.04), BMI (p= 0.01), blood pressure (p= 0.03), cholesterol level (p= 0.01) and triglycerides level (p= 0.02). No statistical significant association with frequency of exercise (p=0.50) was observed. Diabetes mellitus and associated cardiovascular risk factors are prevalent in the study population, which are more among males as compared to females. An early detection program for diabetes mellitus and associated cardiovascular risk factors is needed. Such a program will contribute to the improvement of quality of life of the population.