Telomere regression has been shown to be associated with several complex disorders like diabetes mellitus, cancer, cataract etc. Diabetic retinopathy develops as a complication of chronic hyperglycemia leading to increased oxidative stress that may potentially lead to shortening of telomeres. We sought to determine whether there is any association between telomere mean length (TML) of peripheral blood monocytes with the presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. The study involved 120 subjects, comprising 27 non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) without any diabetic retinopathy (NDR), 45 NIDDM subjects with non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR), 12 NIDDM subjects with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) and 36 healthy controls. Determination of TML of the study subjects was performed by Southern hybridization using telomere probe. Among the biochemical parameters, HBA1c showed a negative correlation with shortened telomeres in the PDR subjects. However, telomere length was positively correlated with high density lipo protein (HDL) in the control subjects. The control group had significantly greater TML as compared to the rest of the groups and the NDR subjects with NPDR and PDR had substantially decreased TML than the NIDDM subjects without retinopathy.