Blood levels of the circulating form of the integrin intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), malondialdehyde (MDA), and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) were studied at baseline and 3 months after improved metabolic control in 25 type II diabetic patients without signs of macroangiopathy, and were compared with those in 15 matched healthy normal controls. Circulating ICAM-1 and MDA levels were increased in diabetic patients, both at baseline and 3 months later. However, with improving metabolic control HbA1c, circulating ICAM-1, and MDA significantly decreased. A significant correlation between circulating ICAM-1, HbA1c, and MDA was found in diabetic patients at each time. Multiple regression analysis considering circulating ICAM-1 as the dependent variable and HbA1c and MDA as independent variables, showed a significant correlation between the three variable at each time. Similar correlations were found in control subjects. These data show increased levels of circulating ICAM-1 in type II diabetic patients, independent of the presence of macroangiopathy. Moreover, these results suggest that oxidative stress and metabolic control might participate in determining increased circulating ICAM-1 levels in both type II diabetic patients and normal subjects.