Antibodies to elastin breakdown products are found in the serum of all human subjects and correlate with their respective serum peptide levels. The presence of these antielastin antibodies (AEAbs) and the corresponding antigens in circulation leads to the formation of circulating immune complexes (CICs). The aim of this study was to determine if the serum levels of free AEAbs (not bound in CICs) correlate with the development of vascular complications in diabetic children. To this end, we used a method for detecting immune complexes (complement inhibition factor [CIF]-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay [ELISA]) in combination with an ELISA for detection of AEAbs. The levels of free immunoglobulin G (IgG) AEAbs were studied in the sera of 54 diabetic children (mean age 12.3 ± 4 years; diabetes duration 5.2 ± 3.7 years). Thirty-two of the children had vascular complications (group 1), and 22 were without vascular complications (group 2). Twenty healthy children (mean age 13.6 ± 4.2 years) were used as controls. The diabetics showed statistically significant higher levels of free AEAbs (0.490 E492 ± 0.244 E492 vs 0.307 E492 ± 0.081 E492; p = .02) compared with the control group. In group 1, free AEAbs showed statistically significant higher levels than controls (0.523 ± 0.269 vs 0.307 ± 0.081; p = .016). Eighteen of 54 (33%) patients were positive for free AEAbs (13 of 32 [41%] in group 1 and 5 of 22 [22%] in group 2). Free AEAb levels in all diabetics showed a correlation with systolic blood pressure (r = .44; p = .01), diastolic blood pressure (r = .46; p = .009), total cholesterol (r = .33; p = .05), triglycerides (r = .38; p = .03), high-density lipoprotein (r = -.46; p = .009), serum fructose (r = .43; p = .001), and microalbuminuria (r = .41; p = .002). Patients who had vascular pathology showed a correlation of free AEAbs with microalbuminuria (r = .434; p = .026), serum fructose (r = .63; p = .0004), hemoglobin A1c (r = .392; p = .043), and triglycerides (r = .456; p = .025). These findings suggest that elevated levels of free IgG AEAbs are associated with the development of diabetic vascular complications in children.