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To determine the prevalence of micro- and macroalbuminuria in NIDDM and their relationship with some known and putative risk factors.Out of a population-based cohort of 1,967 NIDDM subjects, 1,574 were investigated (80 percent). Albumin excretion rate (AER) was evaluated on an overnight urine collection, and plasma and urine determinations were centralized.The prevalences of microalbuminuria (AER 20-200 microgram/min), macroalbuminuria (AER greater than 200 microgram/min), and hypertension were 32.1 percent (95 percent CI 29.8-34.4), 17.6 percent (15.7-19.5), and 67 percent (64.6-69.3), respectively. Apart from prevalence of hypertension, which after adjustment for age, BMI, and duration of diabetes was 2.3 times higher in women, rates were higher in men (odds ratio [OR] 1.31, 95 percent CI 1.04-1.66 for microalbuminuria and OR 1.63, 1.22-2.17 for macroalbuminuria). In comparison with normoalbuminuric subjects, both micro- and macroalbuminuric diabetic subjects had significantly longer duration of diabetes, higher levels of systolic blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides, and uric acid; in macroalbuminuric subjects only, levels of apolipoprotein B and HDL cholesterol were, respectively, higher and lower than in normo- and microalbuminuric subjects. In logistic regression, variables independently related to both micro- and macroalbuminuria were age, HbA1c, cigarette smoking habits, plasma uric acid, and diastolic blood pressure, after adjustment for plasma creatinine and diabetic treatment. In addition, duration of diabetes and HDL cholesterol levels were associated with macroalbuminuria.This population-based study showed high prevalence of micro- and macroalbuminuria in NIDDM subjects, who were characterized by a more adverse pattern of cardiovascular risk factors.