We described the characteristics in a referred cohort of type II diabetic patients in the Developing Education on Microalbuminuria for Awareness of renal and cardiovascular risk in Diabetes study evaluating the global prevalence and determinants of microalbuminuria (MA). A cross-sectional study evaluating 32,208 type II diabetic patients without known albuminuria from 33 countries was performed. Overall, 8057 patients were excluded, either because of prior known proteinuria or non-diabetic nephropathy (3670), or because of invalid urine collections (4387). One single random urinary albumin/creatinine ratio was obtained in 24,151 patients (75%). The overall global prevalence of normo-, micro-, and macroalbuminuria was 51, 39, and 10%, respectively. The Asian and Hispanic patients had the highest prevalence of a raised urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (55%) and Caucasians the lowest (40.6), P<0.0001. HbA1c, systolic blood pressure (BP), ethnicity, retinopathy, duration of diabetes, kidney function, body height, and smoking were all independent risk factors of MA, P<0.0001. Estimated glomerular filtration rate was below 60 ml/min/1.73 m(2) in 22% of the 11,573 patients with available data. Systolic BP below 130 mmHg was found in 33 and 43% had an HbA1c below 7%. The frequency of patients receiving aspirin was 32%, statins 29%, and BP-lowering therapy 63%. A high prevalence globally of MA and reduced kidney function, both conditions associated with enhanced renal and cardiovascular risk, was detected in type II diabetic patients without prior known nephropathy. Early detection, monitoring of vascular complications, and more aggressive multifactorial treatment aiming at renal and vascular protection are urgently needed.