BACKGROUND: Microalbuminuria is a common diagnosis in the clinical care of patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Long-term outcomes after the development of microalbuminuria are variable. METHODS: We quantified the incidence of and risk factors for long-term renal outcomes after the development of microalbuminuria in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) study. The DCCT randomly assigned 1441 persons with type 1 diabetes to intensive or conventional diabetes therapy, and participants were subsequently followed up during the observational EDIC study. During the DCCT/EDIC study, 325 participants developed incident persistent microalbuminuria (albumin excretion rate, >/=30 mg/24 h at 2 consecutive study visits). We assessed their subsequent renal outcomes, including progression to macroalbuminuria (albumin excretion rate, >/=300 mg/24 h at 2 consecutive visits), impaired glomerular filtration rate (estimated glomerular filtration rate, <60 mL/min/1.73 m(2) at 2 consecutive study visits), end-stage renal disease, and regression to normoalbuminuria (albumin excretion rate, <30 mg/24 h at 2 consecutive visits). RESULTS: The median follow-up period after persistent microalbuminuria diagnosis was 13 years (maximum, 23 years). Ten-year cumulative incidences of progression to macroalbuminuria, impaired glomerular filtration rate, end-stage renal disease, and regression to normoalbuminuria were 28%, 15%, 4%, and 40%, respectively. Albuminuria outcomes were more favorable with intensive diabetes therapy, lower glycated hemoglobin level, absence of retinopathy, female sex, lower blood pressure, and lower concentrations of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides. Lower glycated hemoglobin level, absence of retinopathy, and lower blood pressure were also associated with decreased risk of impaired glomerular filtration rate. CONCLUSIONS: After the development of persistent microalbuminuria, progression and regression of kidney disease each commonly occur. Intensive glycemic control, lower blood pressure, and a more favorable lipid profile are associated with improved outcomes.