The prevalence and correlates of the early signs of renal, retinal and neurological microvascular complications were evaluated in 317 young patients with type I diabetes mellitus. Microalbuminuria was detected in 11% of patients and appeared to be strongly and positively related to HbA1c (p < 0.01) and less significantly to duration of diabetes (p < 0.02). Retinopathy was detected in 22.7% of patients and it was associated with duration of diabetes (p < 0.001). Peripheral neuropathy was detected in 18.5% of patients and there was a strong association with HbA1c (p < 0.01) and a weaker one with duration of diabetes (p < 0.05). Microalbuminuria was not detected in prepubertal patients while a similar frequency of retinopathy and neuropathy was observed in prepubertal and postpubertal patients. These results suggest that: 1) In short-term type I diabetic patients neuropathy is the most frequent microvascular complication, but after 10 years of diabetes, retinopathy exceeds the other complications; 2) Short-term metabolic control may influence the frequency of neuropathy and microalbuminuria but not retinopathy; 3) Puberty is involved in the appearance of microalbuminuria.