ACS: Nicotine Tied to Higher Glycated Hemoglobin A1c

Dose-response relationship between nicotine concentration and HbA1c level

MONDAY, March 28 (HealthDay News) -- The level of glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), associated with the risk of development and progression of diabetes complications, is increased by the presence of nicotine in a dose-dependent manner, according to a study presented at the American Chemical Society's Spring 2011 National Meeting & Exposition, held from March 27 to 31 in Anaheim, Calif.

Xiao-Chuan Liu, Ph.D., from the California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, and colleagues investigated the effect of nicotine on the glycosylation of HbA1 to form HbA1c. Human erythrocytes were lysed then treated with varying concentrations of glucose and nicotine for one or two days. Boronate affinity chromatography was used to determine HbA1c levels.

The investigators found that HbA1c levels increased in the presence of nicotine in a dose-response manner. The HbA1c level increased by 8.8 percent with 0.5 mM nicotine, and by 34.5 percent with 5.0 mM nicotine compared to controls without nicotine for one-day treatment. HbA1c levels were slightly higher after two-day treatment.

"These nicotine concentrations used in this study are within the nicotine concentration range detected in smokers; thus this study indicates that nicotine may be responsible for the elevated HbA1c level in smokers with diabetes mellitus," the authors state.

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