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Relationship between glycosylation of haemoglobin and the duration of diabetes: A study during the third trimester of pregnancy

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Summary

The relationship between blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) has been investigated during an 8 week period in 53 Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic women studied during the third trimester of pregnancy. Blood glucose estimations (fasting and 2 h post-prandially) were made an average of 41 times in each patient during this period and HbA1c was determined once at the end of the study. There was a significant correlation between both the mean blood glucose over the preceding 8 weeks and the standard deviation of the fasting blood glucose with HbA1c (r=0.69, p<0.001; r=0.46, p<0.001, respectively). A ‘glycosylation index’ was calculated for each patient (HbA1c divided by the mean blood glucose value). There was a significant correlation between the ‘glycosylation index’ and duration of diabetes (r=0.68, p<0.001). In contrast, there was no correlation between red cell 2,3-diphosphoglycerate and HbA1c or ‘glycosylation index’. These findings suggest that increasing duration of diabetes influences the post-translational formation of HbA1c and that isolated HbA1c values need to be interpreted with caution in the pregnant diabetic.

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Madsen, H., Kjasrgaard, J.-. & Ditzel, J. Relationship between glycosylation of haemoglobin and the duration of diabetes: A study during the third trimester of pregnancy. Diabetologia 22, 37–40 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00253867

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Key words

  • Haemoglobin A1c
  • duration of diabetes
  • diabetic pregnancy
  • glycosylation index
  • 2,3-diphosphoglycerate