The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial has shown that intensive treatment can deter the development and progression of diabetic complications. Integral to intensive treatment is improved glycemic control. To describe the trend in glycemic control for subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, we examined the medical records of 662 subjects seen between 1978 and 1989 at the Model Demonstration Unit of the Diabetes Research and Training Center (Washington University School of Medicine). Mean value of glycated hemoglobin showed steady decline from a peak of 11.5% in 1979 to 9.0% in 1989. This decline was observed both in subjects evaluated only once (annual rate of decline estimated from linear regression, -0.17 ± 0.03; p = 0.0001) and in subjects evaluated more than once (annual rate of decline estimated from growth curves, -0.18 ± 0.06; p = 0.0001). These results suggest that substantial lowering of glycated hemoglobin has occurred during the last decade. This reduction should result in a lowered risk of diabetic complications.