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Teratology. 1989 Mar;39(3):225-31.

First-trimester hemoglobin A1 and risk for major malformation and spontaneous abortion in diabetic pregnancy.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


The relationship between the level of hemoglobin A1 (Hb A1) in the first trimester and major malformations and spontaneous abortions was examined in 303 insulin-requiring diabetic gravidas. During the study period, all patients with insulin-requiring diabetes mellitus antedating pregnancy who registered for prenatal care prior to 12 weeks' gestation and who had a known outcome were included. Thirty-five percent of the patients entered with a first-trimester Hb A1 of greater than 11.0% of total hemoglobin (9 standard deviations above the mean for a nondiabetic population). A broad spectrum of glycemic control was therefore represented. The risk of spontaneous abortion was 12.4% with first-trimester Hb A1 less than or equal to 9.3% and 37.5% with Hb A1 greater than 14.4% (risk ratio 3.0; 95% confidence interval 1.3-7.0). The risk for major malformation was 3.0% with Hb A1 less than or equal to 9.3% and 40% with Hb A1 greater than 14.4% (risk ratio 13.2; 95% confidence interval 4.3-40.4). Although the risks for both adverse outcomes were markedly elevated following a first trimester in very poor metabolic control, there was a broad range of control over which the risks were not substantially elevated. To keep malformations and spontaneous abortions to a minimum among diabetic women does not require "excellent" control; there seems to be a fairly broad range of "acceptable" control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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