Purpose: To assess performance of a biomarker-based score that predicts the five-year risk of diabetes (Diabetes Risk Score, DRS) in an independent cohort that included 15-year follow-up. Method: DRS was developed on the Inter99 cohort, and validated on the Botnia cohort. Performance was benchmarked against other risk-assessment tools comparing calibration, time to event analysis, and net reclassification. Results: The area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) was 0.84 for the Inter99 cohort and 0.78 for the Botnia cohort. In the Botnia cohort, DRS provided better discrimination than fasting plasma glucose (FPG), homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, oral glucose tolerance test or risk scores derived from Framingham or San Antonio Study cohorts. Overall reclassification with DRS was significantly better than using FPG and glucose tolerance status (p < 0.0001). In time to event analysis, rates of conversion to diabetes in low, moderate, and high DRS groups were significantly different (p < 0.001).Conclusion: This study validates DRS performance in an independent population, and provides a more accurate assessment of T2DM risk than other methods.