Objective: To aim of the present study is to determine the association of acanthosis nigricans(AN) with risk of diabetes mellitus, and hormonal levels in female subjects from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Design: Matched case-control study. Setting: Tawam Teaching Hospital of Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Subjects: 184 female subjects (92 females with AN and 92 females without AN); (age range 16-65 years) were recruited. Methods: Height, weight, and sitting blood pressure were recorded on 184 female subjects with AN and without AN. Fasting blood samples were obtained for measurement of uric acid, glucose, cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Main outcome measure: Risk factors were investigated. Analysis was based on univariate and multivariate analysis. Results: The present study showed that BMI, family history of DM, fasting glucose, HDL-cholesterol 9 (mmol/l), triglycerides (mmol/l) and uric acid (mmol/l) levels were statistically significantly higher in obese women in acanthosis and non acanthosis groups. The results revealed that BMI, family history of DM, total cholesterol (mmol/l,), triglycerides (mmol/l) and uric acid (nmmol/l) levels were statistically significant higher in diabetic women in non-acanthosis. Furthermore, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol (mmol/l), triglycerides (mmol/l) and uric acid (mmol/l) levels were statistically significantly higher in diabetic women in acanthosis groups. Overall, DM subjects had significantly higher values for hormone levels of TSH, FSH, LH, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, prolactin, GH, and ferritin. Conclusion: The conclusion has been stated as follows: patients in the UAE who have AN have a high prevalence of DM and insulin resistance. Since AN is rather prevalent in the UAE, identifying this skin lesion can help detect those subjects with a higher risk of DM and hormonal disturbances. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.