Intensive lipid management is critical to reduce cardiovascular (CV) risk for patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: We performed an observational study of 7628 patients with (n = 2943) and without DM (n = 4685), enrolled in the Provider Assessment of Lipid Management (PALM) registry and treated at 140 outpatient clinics across the United States in 2015. Patient self-estimated CV risk, patient-perceived statin benefit and risk, observed statin therapy use and dosing were assessed. Results: Patients with DM were more likely to believe that their CV risk was elevated compared with patients without DM (39.1% vs 29.3%, P < .001). Patients with DM were more likely to receive a statin (74.2% vs 63.5%, P < .001) but less likely to be treated with guideline-recommended statin intensity (36.5% vs 46.9%, P < .001), driven by the low proportion (16.5%) of high risk (ASCVD risk ≥7.5%) primary prevention DM patients treated with a high intensity statin. Patients with DM treated with guideline-recommended statin intensity were more likely to believe they were at high CV risk (44.9% vs 38.4%, P = .005) and that statins can reduce this risk (41.1% vs 35.6%, P = .02), compared with patients treated with lower than guideline-recommended statin intensity. Compared with patients with an elevated HgbA1c, patients with well-controlled DM were no more likely to be on a statin (77.9% vs 79.3%, P = .43). Conclusions: In this nationwide study, the majority of patients with DM were treated with lower than guideline-recommended statin intensity. Patient education and engagement may help providers improve lipid therapy for these high-risk patients.