Fetal haemoglobin levels in adult type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients

Diem, P; Mullis, P; Hirt, A; Schuler, JJ; Bürgi, W; Zuppinger, KA; Teuscher, A (1993). Fetal haemoglobin levels in adult type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients. Diabetologia, 36(2), pp. 129-32. Heidelberg: Springer 10.1007/BF00400693

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Glycated haemoglobin levels (HbA1 and HbA1c) are established parameters of long-term glycaemic control in diabetic patients. Depending on the method used, fetal haemoglobin interferes with the assays for glycated haemoglobin. If present in high amounts, fetal haemoglobin may lead to overestimation of glycated haemoglobin levels, and therefore, of average blood glucose concentration in diabetic patients. Glycated (HbA1c) and fetal haemoglobin levels were measured by high pressure liquid chromatography in 60 (30 female) adult Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetic patients of Swiss descent, and were compared with levels obtained from 60 normal, non-diabetic control subjects matched for age and sex. Fetal haemoglobin levels were significantly higher in the diabetic patients (0.6 +/- 0.1%, mean +/- SEM; range: 0-3.6%) than in the control subjects (0.4 +/- 0.1%, p < 0.001). Elevated fetal haemoglobin levels (> or = 0.6%) were found in 23 of 60 diabetic patients (38%) compared to 9 of 60 control subjects (15%; chi 2 = 8.35, p < 0.01). In addition, fetal haemoglobin levels in diabetic patients are weakly correlated with glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) (r = 0.38, p < 0.01). Fetal haemoglobin results were confirmed with the alkali denaturation procedure, and by immunocytochemistry using a polyclonal rabbit anti-fetal haemoglobin antibody. A significant proportion of adult patients with Type 1 diabetes has elevated fetal haemoglobin levels. In certain patients this may lead to a substantial over-estimation of glycated haemoglobin levels, and consequently of estimated, average blood glucose levels. The reason for this increased prevalence of elevated fetal haemoglobin remains unclear, but it may be associated with poor glycaemic control.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Endocrinology, Diabetology and Clinical Nutrition

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Diem, Peter










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Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:56

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:16

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/23877 (FactScience: 44898)

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