Mitochondrial dysfunction and associated oxidative stress are strongly linked to cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and age associated disorders. More specifically cardiovascular diseases are common in patients with diabetes and significant contributor to the high mortality rates associated with diabetes. Studies have shown that the heart failure risk is increased in diabetic patients even after adjusting for coronary artery disease and hypertension. Although the actual basis of the increased heart failure risk is multifactorial, increasing evidences suggest that imbalances in mitochondrial function and associated oxidative stress play an important role in this process. This review summarizes these abnormalities in mitochondrial function and discusses potential underlying mechanisms. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Quality in Diabetes/Obesity and Critical Illness Spectrum of Diseases - edited by P. Hemachandra Reddy.