This study was designed to compare the short-term (1-y) tolerability and antiproteinuric efficacy of enalapril and valsartan in patients with type 2 diabetes. Forty-two patients with normal renal function or early-stage nephropathy were recruited in Hong Kong and randomized to valsartan 80 mg/day or enalapril 5 mg/day; the doses were increased to 160 mg and 10 mg daily, respectively, as tolerated. Early-morning urine was analyzed for albumin and creatinine and 24-hour urinary albumin excretion at baseline and 1 year after therapy began. Twenty-two patients were randomized to valsartan and 20 to enalapril. The 2 treatment groups were similar in terms of age, sex distribution, and duration of diabetes or hypertension. Blood pressure decreased to a similar extent (-2.5% to -5.0%) with each drug. Similarly, the 24-hour urinary albumin excretion decreased by 5% to 6% with each drug. The albumin-creatinine ratio in early-morning urine samples and plasma creatinine levels decreased in the valsartan group and increased in the enalapril group, but the difference was not significant. Plasma potassium levels were stable in both groups at the end of study. Cough was reported by 7 (35%) patients receiving enalapril and none of those receiving valsartan (P=.003). In conclusion, enalapril and valsartan both reduced blood pressure and albuminuria to a similar extent with 1 year of therapy in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes and normal renal function or early-stage nephropathy. Fewer adverse events were reported with valsartan, but both drugs appear to be relatively safe.