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May 1961

Porphyria, Diabetes, and Their Relationship: A Case Report

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Dermatology (Clarence S. Livingood, M.D., Chairman), Henry Ford Hospital.

Arch Dermatol. 1961;83(5):717-722. doi:10.1001/archderm.1961.01580110005001

The association of diabetes mellitus with porphyria, first reported in 1949,1 has since been noted by several authors, as has the associated disturbance of iron metabolism and hemochromatosis. It would seem that the metabolic defect of porphyria may actually result in the development of diabetes mellitus due to the disturbance of iron and pyrrole metabolism. Our patient is another example of diabetes mellitus developing after the onset of porphyria cutanea tarda. In our case the time interval between the development of porphyria cutanea tarda and diabetes was 4 years.

Report of a Case  The patient, a 47-year-old white man, first consulted one of us (R. P. F.) on Aug. 8, 1959, because of bullous lesions on the hands and forearms. At that time he stated that these lesions had first appeared in the spring of 1955. He volunteered the information that these lesions were always worse in the summer