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Glycosylated haemoglobins and weights were recorded for 200 consecutive diabetic clinic attenders seen yearly for 5 years, 76 of whom were also seen up to 10 years from diagnosis of type 2 diabetes, representing 1380 patient years. Weight fluctuation (> 3 kg) was associated with increased final prevalence of hypertension, macroalbuminaemia and a raised creatinine (P < 0.002) but this relationship was abolished by correction for higher initial weight. Average glycaemia over 5/10 years [itself related to initial weight in women on tablets (N = 53) but not others, and to waist but not waist/hip ratio], correlated with prevalence and severity of retinopathy (N = 200; r = 0.38, P < 0.0006) seen also in the subgroup of patients on tablets (N = 145, P < 0.006). At HbA1 levels > 10.5% an increased prevalence of retinopathy was seen in those on insulin (N = 37, P < 0.001) and an increased prevalence of peripheral vascular disease was seen in men but not women (x2 = 2.87, P < 0.01) as well as in the prevalence of neuropathy. These findings suggest that good glycaemic control is of value in type 2 diabetes and less easily achieved in obesity.