(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 vs. 2.20%; 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.”