We studied 178 diabetic children and adolescents diagnosed during the period 1962-79 to find out the occurrence and duration of the postinitial remission, factors favoring a remission and the prognostic value of the remission. A postinitial remission occurred in 113 children (64%) being complete in only three boys (2%). The duration ranged from one month to 4.8 years, the mean being 8.4 months. The boys had a remission more often and of longer duration than the girls. The duration of diabetes was longer in the children without remission. The children with remission had lower blood glucose, milder hyperketonemia and ketonuria, higher pH and PCO2 at onset than those without remission. Hemoglobin A1 (HbA1) during 1979 were lower in the children with a positive remission history. The children with a remission lasting more than one year had a subsequently higher glucosuria index, lower HbA1 and higher C-peptide when compared to those without remission or to those with a short remission. The remission frequency increased from 1962 to 1979. Male sex and mild metabolic derangement at onset favor a postinitial remission, which results in a persisting residual beta-cell function and better metabolic control beyond the remission.