An increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) among blacks has been previously shown for most causes of chronic renal failure, including diabetes. Most previous studies have not considered the higher prevalence of diabetes in the black population and have not analyzed relative risk by type of diabetes. We found that the incidence of ESRD among blacks with diabetes was 3.6 times the rate in whites with diabetes. The relative risk for blacks increases progressively with age, reaching a maximum of 6.9 in persons over the age of 65. The incidence of ESRD due to diabetes is higher in the population with type I diabetes (492 per 100,000) than in the population with type II diabetes (71 per 100,000). Blacks have a higher incidence of ESRD in both type I diabetes (odds ratio, 2.96; 95% confidence interval, 1.8 to 4.9) and type II diabetes (odds ratio, 4.9; 95% confidence interval, 3.6 to 6.5). The incidence of ESRD in patients with diabetes varies with age, race, and type of diabetes.