The role of diabetes mellitus (DM) in the etiopathogenesis of spontaneous intracerebral hemorrhage (SICH) is controversial. The aim was to assess the role of DM in our SICH patients. In a hospital-based cross-section study, the occurrence of DM prior to a hemorrhagic stroke was observed in 80 SICH patients (44 males, aged 36-87 years, mean 67.1 +/- 11.9 years; 36 females, aged 56-86 years, mean 71.1 +/- 8.3 years), and in a control group (CG) of 80 age- and sex-matched patients with low back pain. All patients were treated at the Departments of Neurology and Neurosurgery, University Hospital, Olomouc, Czech Republic. Two-sample t test and Pearson's homogeneity chi(2) test were applied when assessing statistical significance. DM was found in 37.5% of SICH patients versus 22.5% of CG subjects (P < 0.05). DM occurs significantly more frequently in SICH patients in the Olomouc region of the Czech Republic when compared to the general population.