Aims/hypothesis: Homozygosity for a five leucine repeat (5L-5L) in the carnosinase gene (CNDP1) has been found to be cross-sectionally associated with a low frequency of diabetic nephropathy (DN), mainly in type 2 diabetes. We prospectively investigated in patients with type 1 diabetes whether: (1) 5L-5L is associated with mortality; (2) there is an interaction of 5L-5L with DN or sex for prediction of mortality; and (3) 5L-5L is associated with progression to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). Methods: In this prospective study in white European patients with type 1 diabetes, individuals with DN were defined by persistent albuminuria ≥300 mg/24 h. Controls without nephropathy were defined by persistent (>15 years) normoalbuminuria <30 mg/24 h. Leucine repeats were assessed with a fluorescent DNA analysis system. Onset of ESRD was defined by need to start chronic dialysis or kidney transplantation. Results: The study involved 916 patients with DN and 1,170 controls. During follow-up for 8.8 years, 107 patients (14%) with 5L-5L died compared with 182 patients (13.8%) with other genotypes (p = 0.99). There was no significant interaction of 5L-5L with DN for prediction of mortality (p = 0.57), but a trend towards interaction with sex (p = 0.08). In patients with DN, HR for ESRD in 5L-5L vs other genotypes was not constant over time, with increased risk for 5L-5L beyond 8 years of follow-up (p = 0.03). Conclusions/interpretation: CNDP1 polymorphism was not associated with mortality, and nor was there an interaction of this polymorphism with DN for prediction of mortality in patients with type 1 diabetes. CNDP1 polymorphism predicts progression to ESRD in patients with DN, but only late after baseline measurements.