BACKGROUND: The life events which diabetic patients experience has an influence on conduct and communication pattern that is essential to control diabetes. The psychosocial life events which patients experienced in recently, as well as in the past has an important meanings in the process of the plan, implementation and evaluation of diabetic control. However, the most researches on this issues are scanty. Thus, we evaluated the relation of diabetic control to stress amounts associated with the life event which diabetic patients experience for the past one year. METHODS: In this study, 81 diabetic patients admitted to H hospital from March, 1999 to February 2000 were examined in stress amounts associated with life events, blood sugar, HbA1C, duration, complication, family history, treatment to inspect the hypothesis that stress experiences for recent 1 year are related to diabetic control. The 'Life Psychosocial Event Scale' invented by Lee was used. To examine the hypothesis that diabetic control may be influenced by the amount of stress, we investigated the difference of the means between the two groups (upper 30% of patients vs. lower 30% of patients) by T-test. RESULTS: The mean age was 56.9+/-15.1 years and the mean duration of diabetes was 8.9+/-7 years. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) was 200.3+/-71.0 mg/dL, PP2 was 292.9+/-87.2 mg/dL, HbA1C was 10.5+/-2.6%, complication was 0.8+/-0.9. The age showed negative correlation with stress amounts. The other variables did not show significant correlation with stress amounts. Thus, our study indicated that the hypothesis that stress experiences for recent 1 year are related to diabetic control was rejected. However, considering the perception-phenomenological approach on stress, if we study the relationship between stress with diabetic control inclusively, it seems that we can recognize such relationship. CONCLUSION: To address relation between stress with diabetic control inclusively, we need to consider stress factors in diversified aspects more than only one. Therefore, we must investigate how do patients perceive and cope with stress inclusively, because the crisis of life is influenced on the stress coping skill of patients. The study on this issue must be continued to identified the key factors associated with stress in diabetes.