The rate of progression of nephropathy was studied in 6 young male diabetics with intermittent proteinuria (Albustix) and in 10 young male diabetics with constant proteinuria by measuring glomerular filtration rate (GFR), renal plasma flow (RPF), and urinary albumin excretion by exact techniques. Albumin excretion was elevated in both the recumbent and the erect position in patients with intermittent proteinuria. GFR and RPF were at the same level as in diabetics without proteinuria, and no deterioration in renal function was noted during a mean control period of 32 months. In the patients with constant proteinuria the fall rate during a mean period of 33.6 months for GFR and RPF was 0.91 ml/min/month +/- 0.68 (S.D.) and 4.38 ml/min/month +/- 3.23 (S.D.) respectively. Initial fall rate in GFR correlated well with long-term fall rate, both of which were studied in 7 patients. In the same patients there was a positive correlation between the fall rate in GFR and diastolic blood pressure as well as albumin clearance. In 8 patients with constant proteinuria and mean blood pressure of 159/101 mmHg, antihypertensive treatment was started with propranolol alone or combined with hydralazine and furosemide. During a treatment period of 47 days blood pressure was reduced to 143/93 mmHg, and in the same period urinary albumin excretion was reduced significantly from a mean value of 3547 mug/min to 2414 mug/min (P less than 0.01). Further control studies will clarify whether end-stage of renal insufficiency will be postponed by antihypertensive treatment.