This study investigated the role of vaspin in the occurrence and development of type 2 Diabetic Retinopathy (DR). A total of 90 patients clinically diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) were divided into Non-DR (NDR), Non-Proliferation DR (NPDR), and Proliferation DR (PDR) groups, while healthy subjects were included in a control group. Serum Fasting Blood Glucose (FBG), Fasting Insulin (FINS), glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c), cholesterol (TC), Triglyceride (TG), High-Density Lipoprotein (HDLC), and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDLC) levels were measured in each group. The remaining serum was stored at -80?C for future detection of serum vaspin levels. Vaspin levels were quantified using Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). The homeostatic model assessment indices of insulin secretion and insulin resistance (HOMA-IS and HOMA-IR, respectively) were also calculated. There were statistically significant differences in serum levels of HbA1c (F=210.06), FGS (F=6.75), FINS (F=22.19), TC (F=5.65), HDLC (F=5.27), LDLC (F=6.90), vaspin (F=94.27), HOMA-IS (F=4.90), and HOMA-IR (F=21.56) between the NDR, NPDR, PDR, and control groups (P<0.05). The severity of DR was significantly correlated with HbA1c, FGS, FINS, LDLC, and HOMA-IR levels, and was also significantly correlated with reduced vaspin, HOMA-IS, and HDLC (P<0.01) levels. Vaspin levels were significantly correlated with HDLC and HOMA-IS (P<0.01), and negatively correlated with HOMA-IR (P<0.01). This study confirmed that patients with DR lesions had significantly reduced serum vaspin levels, which was closely related to abnormal blood glucose and blood lipid metabolism. Low circulating vaspin levels may be a risk factor for DR progression. Further prospective observational studies are required to explain how a decreased circulating vaspin levels may be involved in the progression of DR.