Background: Altered regulation of extracellular matrix remodeling by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP) may contribute to vascular complications in type 1 diabetes. We investigated associations between plasma MMP-1, -2, -3, -9, -10 and TIMP-1, and cardiovascular events and all-cause mortality in type 1 diabetic patients. Methods: We prospectively followed 337 type 1 diabetic patients [mean age 41.4 years (9.6), 39% female], 170 with and 167 without diabetic nephropathy, with median follow-up of 12.3 years. Survival analyses were applied to investigate differences in plasma MMP-1, -2, -3, -9, -10, and TIMP-1-levels in patients with and without a cardiovascular event and in those who died vs survivors. All analyses were adjusted for age, sex, duration of diabetes, HbA1c, nephropathy and for other conventional cardiovascular risk factors. Results: After adjustment for potential confounders, higher MMP-2 plasma levels were significantly associated with higher incidence of cardiovascular events [HR 1.49 (95% CI 1.11; 1.99)], and higher plasma levels of MMP-1 [1.38 (1.07; 1.78)], MMP-2 [1.60 (1.19; 2.15)] and MMP-3 [1.39 (1.05; 1.85)] were associated with all-cause mortality. All associations were independent of low-grade inflammation and endothelial dysfunction as estimated by plasma markers. Associations between MMP-2 and cardiovascular events and between MMP-3 and mortality were attenuated after further adjustment for eGFR and changes in eGFR. Conclusions: Higher levels of MMP-2 are associated with CVD and higher MMP-1, -2 and -3 with all-cause mortality. In addition, associations between MMP-2 and CVD, and MMP-3 and mortality were attenuated after adjustment for eGFR while both MMPs were associated with eGFR decline, indicating a possible mediating role of eGFR.