The prevalence of abnormal urinary albumin excretion, defined by a urine albumin to creatinine ratio greater than or equal to 30 mg/g (approximately equivalent to an albumin excretion rate of greater than or equal to 30 mg/24 h), was determined in 2728 Pima Indians aged greater than or equal to 15 years from the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, a population with a high prevalence of Type 2 (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. Excessive albumin excretion was present in 8% of subjects with normal glucose tolerance, 15% of those with impaired glucose tolerance, and 47% of subjects with diabetes. The intermediate prevalence of abnormal albuminuria in those with impaired glucose tolerance suggests that hyperglycaemia even at levels below those diagnostic of diabetes is associated with renal abnormalities in some subjects and that these abnormalities may precede the onset of diabetes. Abnormal albuminuria at levels not reliably detected by the usual dipstick methods was commonly observed in Pima Indians with diabetes, even those with diabetes of recent onset. Associations were found with age, duration of diabetes, level of glycaemia, blood pressure, and treatment with insulin.