The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that peripheral blood neutrophils (PMN) exhibit delayed spontaneous apoptosis in individuals with diabetes mellitus type 2 (T2DM) and that the delay is exacerbated further among people who coexpress chronic periodontitis (CP). Seventy-three individuals were enrolled, including those with T2DM (n = 16), CP (n = 15), T2DM + CP (n = 21), and healthy volunteers (n = 21). PMN apoptosis was determined by flow cytometry using TUNEL and Annexin V assays. The activity of caspase-3, -8, and -9 was measured by colorimetric assay. PMN surface death receptor quantification was performed by flow cytometry staining with fluorescence-conjugated anti-CD120a (TNFR1) and anti-CD95 [Fas receptor (FasR)] antibody. Analysis of inflammatory markers in serum samples was performed using multiplexed sandwich immunoassays. In healthy volunteers and individuals with T2DM, CP, and T2DM + CP, spontaneous PMN apoptosis observed at 12 h reached 85.3 ± 3.1, 67.3 ± 3.9, 62.9 ± 3.5 and 62.5 ± 5.4%, respectively (P < 0.05). Caspase-3 activity was significantly reduced in individuals with T2DM and T2DM + CP (P < 0.05) when compared with healthy volunteers. Caspase-8 activity was also significantly decreased in CP and T2DM + CP (P < 0.05), associated with reduced cell-surface FasR, TNFRs, and Fas ligand (FasL) serum levels. Glucose alone was not observed to impact PMN apoptosis; simultaneous incubation with the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) agonist S100B induced significant PMN apoptosis (P < 0.05). These data support the premise that the inhibition of PMN apoptosis in individuals with T2DM occurs through an advanced glycation endproducts/RAGE ligand/receptor-mediated interaction. © Society for Leukocyte Biology.