Objective: Traditionally, the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC) questionnaire is a screening tool to estimate risk of type 2 diabetes. In this study, we evaluated the ability of FINDRISC to predict the development of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in an Iranian population without diabetes and MetS. Methods: A total of 1,010 first-degree relatives of consecutive patients with type 2 diabetes, 30-70 years old (274 men and 736 women), without diabetes and MetS, were examined and followed up over 8.0 ± 1.6 years (mean ± SD) for MetS incidence. The incidence of MetS was examined across quartiles of FINDRISC, and a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was plotted to assess the discrimination. At baseline and through follow-ups, participants underwent a standard 75 g 2-hour oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Data for determining FINDRISC were available from each participant. Results: During 8,089 person-years of follow-up, 69 men and 209 women without MetS and diabetes at baseline subsequently developed MetS. The incidence of MetS was 31.4 per 1000 person-years in men and 35.5 in women. The FINDRSC at baseline was significantly associated with MetS evolution. Participants in the top quartile of FINDRISC were 4.4 times more likely to develop MetS than those in the bottom quartile (rate ratio 4.4; 95% CI 2.7-7.0). The area under the ROC curve was 65.0% (95% CI 61.3-68.7). Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that FINDRISC can be applied to detect MetS in a high-risk population.