The impact of pre-diabetes on clinical status was retrospectively studied in 38 cystic fibrosis (CF) patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) and 38 non-diabetic CF patients (control patients), matched in pairs for age, sex, and chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa lung infection. Quarterly parameters of CF clinical status were collected for 6 years prior to the diagnosis of DM in the index case. Compared to the control patients, decreases in body weight, body mass index (BMI), forced expiratory volume in 1s (FEV1), and forced vital capacity (FVC) and an increase in the daily intake of pancreatic enzyme capsules were found in the pre-diabetic patients. Statistically significant differences in body weight, BMI, FEV1, FVC, and intake of pancreatic enzyme capsules between pre-diabetic and control patients emerged 4, 4, 1.25, 3 and 4.5 years prior to the diagnosis of DM, respectively. The number of lung infections did not differ between the two groups of patients. Thus, when DM develops in CF patients, an insidious decline in overall clinical status is observed for years prior to its diagnosis. Whether clinical deterioration in CF leads to DM, or pre-diabetes results in declining CF clinical status is presently unknown. Accumulating evidence suggests that the latter may be the case since insulin therapy seems to improve lung function in CF.