• Three hundred seventy-five patients with diabetes mellitus were examined for the presence of sclerodermalike skin changes, limited joint mobility, and vital capacity changes. Nineteen percent of patients had vital capacities 2 SDs below the mean of predicted values. There was no significant relationship between decreased vital capacities and duration of diabetes, sclerodermalike skin changes, limited joint mobility, smoking history, proteinuria, or retinopathy. Cutaneous involvement consisting of thickening, tightening, and/or a waxy quality of the skin was noted in 190 patients (51%). The severity of skin involvement correlated positively with the patients' duration of diabetes, age, severity of joint contractures, and diabetic retinopathy. Thus, sclerodermalike skin changes appear to reflect generalized connective tissue alterations in diabetes and may indicate increased risk for diabetic microvascular complications.