Forty-four non-insulin-dependent diabetics (NIDD), all with urine negative to Albustix, were studied in 1966/67. By the end of 1980, 17 had died, all but two from cardiovascular causes. All causes of mortality and time to death were significantly related in univariate analyses to age and to the overnight urinary albumin excretion rate (AER), but not to systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels or to duration of diabetes when the latter was corrected for age. Age and duration were highly correlated with each other. In multivariate analyses age and AER were independent predictors of both mortality and time to death, with AER having the greater degree of significance. Thus subclinically elevated albumin excretion rates ('microalbuminuria') indicate a substantially increased mortality risk in non-insulin-dependent diabetes.