Five hundred and ninety Rochester, Minnesota, residents were initially diagnosed with herpes zoster in the period 1945-1959. Fifteen had diabetes mellitus before the onset of herpes. The expected number was 15.7. The entire herpes zoster cohort was followed subsequently for nearly 9400 person-years and 33 new cases of diabetes mellitus developed while the expected number was 30.6. The clinical spectrum of herpes zoster in individuals with diabetes mellitus was not different from that of zoster patients from the general population. We conclude that herpes zoster is not a risk factor for diabetes mellitus and that diabetes mellitus is not a risk factor for herpes zoster.
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