Many non-malignant diseases may be associated with elevated serum CA19-9 levels. Recent reports suggest that diabetes mellitus may also be responsible for some elevations. In this study we investigated the influence of the glycaemic level and Lewis phenotype on the serum CA19-9 levels in diabetic patients. In 15 out of 84 patients (17.8%) serum CA19-9 exceeded 100 kU/L (highest value: 208 kU/L). CA19-9 concentrations were significantly correlated with glycosylated haemoglobin levels. On the other hand, no correlation was found between CA19-9 levels and the type of diabetes, lipase levels, or the presence of anti-islet cell antibodies. Le(a-b-) patients had significantly lower serum CA19-9 levels. This study emphasizes the frequency of CA19-9 elevations in diabetic patients without cancer.