We studied the relationship between albuminuria (measured as albumin/creatinine ratio (alb/Cr) in a random urine sample) and measures of glycaemic control (fructosamine, HbA1 and glucose) in 470 patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Albumin excretion was in the microalbuminuric range (alb/Cr ratio > 5.4-40.3) in 112 (23.8%) and in the macroalbuminuric range (alb/Cr ratio > 40.3 mg/mmol) in 89 patients (18.9%). Fourteen percent (n = 67) of patients had a normal plasma HbA1 (< or = 8.5%) while 27% (n = 127) had a normal plasma fructosamine concentration (< or = 2.2 mmol/l). Using stepwise multiple regression analysis, plasma fructosamine concentration was found to be independently and negatively associated with urine albumin/creatinine ratio (B = 0.24, P < 0.006) in the macroalbuminuric group. Further analysis of the relationship between plasma albumin concentration and indices of glycaemic control showed that plasma albumin concentration correlated negatively with random plasma glucose concentration in the normoalbuminuric patients (r = -0.16, P = 0.008) but not in microalbuminuric or macroalbuminuric groups. HbA1 was not correlated with plasma albumin concentration. Our results indicate that albuminuria has an effect on the plasma fructosamine concentration which is independent of plasma albumin concentration.