Three hundred diabetic and 100 nondiabetic hospital outpatients (both groups of comparable age and sex distribution) were assessed for the presence of generalized and localized pruritus. Pruritus vulvae was significantly more common in diabetic women (18.4%) thanin controls (5.6%) and was significantly associated with poor diabetes control (mean glycosylated hemoglobin level <12%). Other forms of localized pruritus were equally common in diabetic and nondiabetic patients, regardless of glycosylated hemoglobin levels. Generalized pruritus was present in 14 diabetic patients, but in 5 cases the symptom was ascribed to intercurrent illness or drug administration. Thus, generalized pruritus without apparent cause was present in only 8 diabetic patients (2.7%) and was not significantly more common than in nondiabetic patients. It is doubtful if diabetes mellitus per se should be regarded as a cause of generalized or localized pruritus, other than pruritus vulvae.

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