Early pregnancy glycosylated hemoglobin, severity of diabetes, and fetal malformations

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1989 Aug;161(2):426-31. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(89)90536-x.


Total percent glycosylated hemoglobin (A1a + b + c) was measured before 16 weeks' gestation in 105 insulin-treated diabetic women enrolled for prenatal care at Parkland Memorial Hospital. Seventy-three of the infants were normal, 14 had malformations, and there were 18 spontaneous abortions. The mean glycosylated hemoglobin level for the entire study group was 9.2%, compared with 9.4% for those pregnancies ending in abortion, 8.9% for those resulting in normal infants, and 10.3% when malformations occurred. The mean glycosylated hemoglobin value for women delivered of normal infants was significantly lower than the mean of those with malformed infants. Ten of the 14 malformations occurred in mothers whose early pregnancy values exceeded the mean of the entire study group. There was also an association between malformations and White classification of maternal diabetes since 10 of the 14 fetal anomalies occurred in women assigned to White Classes C, D, F, H, and R. When the distribution of malformations was analyzed according to both glycosylated hemoglobin level and White Class, there was evidence of an interaction to suggest that hyperglycemia increases the relative risk of fetal malformations when associated with maternal diabetes of longer duration and or with vascular complications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Spontaneous / blood
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / epidemiology
  • Abortion, Spontaneous / etiology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Chromatography, Ion Exchange
  • Congenital Abnormalities / blood*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Congenital Abnormalities / etiology
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / blood*
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / complications
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / drug therapy
  • Prospective Studies


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Insulin