Hemoglobin AIc, a normal minor hemoglobin, has glucose linked by a Schiff base to the N-terminal end of the beta chain. The glucose interferes with the binding of 2,3 diphosphoglycerate, probably resulting in an increased affinity of that hemoglobin for oxygen. Hb AIc is increased to twice normal levels in juvenile-onset (insulin-dependent) diabetes. In the present studies, the Hb AIc, when expressed as per cent of total hemoglobin, was found to be elevated slightly in pregnany normal ( = 6.97 per cent), pregnant nondiabetic obese ( = 6.89 per cent), and gestationally diabetic subjects ( = 8.77 per cent) above that of normal females ( = 5.68 per cent). A remarkable difference was observed between the nonpregnant diabetics ( = 12.77 per cent) and the pregnant diabetics ( = 8.46 per cent). This decrease in the level of Hb AIc in diabetics who are pregnant more than 30 weeks may reflect either a better state of diabetic control and/or a compensatory mechanism to protect the fetus by facilitating oxygen exchange from mother to fetus.

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