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Fetal Hemoglobin Glycation May Reflect Hyperglycemia in Utero

Glycation of α-chain higher in neonates from women with gestational diabetes mellitus

Fetal Hemoglobin Glycation May Reflect Hyperglycemia in Utero

MONDAY, July 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Glycation of the α-chain (Glα) in fetal hemoglobin is higher in neonates from women with gestational diabetes mellitus and may reflect hyperglycemia exposure in utero, according to a study published online July 10 in Diabetes Care.

Felix O. Dupont, from the Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke in Canada, and colleagues conducted a case-control study involving 37 women with gestational diabetes mellitus and 30 pregnant women with normal glucose tolerance. They measured the percentage of glycated hemoglobin in cord blood using a unique mass spectrometry method.

The researchers found that in neonates from women with gestational diabetes mellitus, Glα was higher (2.32 versus 2.20 percent; P < 0.01). In the overall cohort, and in each group, Glα correlated with maternal hemoglobin A1c measured at delivery (overall cohort: r = 0.67; P < 0.0001; gestational diabetes mellitus group: r = 0.66; P < 0.0001: normal glucose tolerance group: r = 0.50; P = 0.01).

"Thus, Glα may reflect hyperglycemic exposure during the last weeks of fetal development," the authors write. "Future studies will confirm Glα is a predictive biomarker of prenatally programmed lifetime metabolic health and disease."

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