The placenta from 30 women with diabetes mellitus were examined and weighed at delivery. Nineteen of these were from women with overt and eleven from women with gestational diabetes. Eleven placentae from normal pregnancies served as controls. There was no difference between the mean +/- s.d. placental weight for the diabetic group and the control group (609 +/- 148 versus 591 +/- 93 g, NS). The mean placental weight ratios for the diabetic group and the control group were also similar (0.98 +/- 0.23 versus 0.89 +/- 0.15, NS). Moreover, there was no difference between the weights and weight ratios of placentae from women with overt (622 +/- 173 g, 1.02 +/- 0.27) and those with gestational diabetes (586 +/- 90 g, versus 0.90 +/- 0.13). Placental weights correlated with birthweights (r = 0.70, P less than 0.01) and with skinfold thickness measurements fo the infants (r = 0.40, P less than 0.05), but neither with gestational ages (r = 0.15, NS) nor with maternal glycosylated haemoglobin levels in the third trimester (r = 0.24, NS). Among the women with overt diabetes, placental weights were greater in those in White's class B and C than those in class D and R (689 +/- 143 versus 530 +/- 177 g; P less than 0.05). In general, placentae from well controlled diabetic patients were not heavier than those from normal pregnant women, although there was an increase in placental weight in White's class B and C, as compared with those in class D and R.