When waist circumference is taken into account, larger hip circumference is associated with reduced risk factors for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The authors investigated the prospective association of hip circumference with type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD) incidence in a biracial cohort of men and women in 4 US communities. A total of 10,767 participants from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study were followed from 1987 to 1998. Hip and waist circumferences and body mass index (BMI) were modeled separately and mutually in association with incident diabetes and CHD by using proportional hazards regression. After adjustment for age, race, sex, and clinical center, hip circumference was positively associated with incident diabetes. However, after further controlling for waist circumference, BMI, and confounding variables, successive quintiles of hip circumference were associated with a statistically significant reduced hazard of incident diabetes (hazard ratios = 1.00, 0.79, 0.60, 0.44, 0.41). Similarly, successive quintiles of hip circumference were associated with a statistically significant reduced hazard of CHD after controlling for waist circumference, BMI, and confounding variables (hazard ratios = 1.00, 0.92, 0.75, 0.63, 0.50). Although excess adiposity is a general risk factor for diabetes and CHD, for a given BMI and waist circumference, greater hip circumference appears to lessen the risk of diabetes and CHD.