Diabetes vascular complications, including cardiovascular disease, diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy, have a negative effect on the long-term prognosis of young people with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Poor glycaemic control and consequent increased HbA1c levels are major risk factors for the development of vascular complications. HbA1c levels are the main focus of current management strategies; however, the recommended target is rarely achieved in adolescents. Thus, a clear need exists for improved biomarkers to identify high-risk young people early and to develop new intervention strategies. Evidence is accumulating that early increases in urinary albumin excretion could be predictive of adolescents with T1DM who are at an increased risk of developing vascular complications, independent of HbA1c levels. These findings present an opportunity to move towards the personalized care of adolescents with T1DM, which takes into consideration changes in albumin excretion and other risk factors in addition to HbA1c levels.