Women with high blood pressure are three times more likely to develop diabetes than those with lower blood pressure.
A study of more than 38,000 health professionals has found that the relationship between type 2 diabetes and hypertension was independent of body mass.
Women who had an increase in blood pressure during the study also had an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Lead author Dr David Conen said: "Finding an independent association between blood pressure and new-onset diabetes is important, because it suggests that women with increasing blood pressure levels should have their blood glucose levels monitored.
"Individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease may benefit from early intervention."
He concluded: "An important message for physicians and future guidelines is that none of the cardiovascular risk factors should be looked at individually. The combination of all risk factors should be used to make treatment decisions."
Over two million people in the UK have diabetes and 85 to 95 per cent have type 2.
Please click here for advice to help you find the right type of care.