Glycosylated Hemoglobin to Detect Diabetes

Glycosylated hemoglobin forms when prolonged hyperglycemia leads to glucose in the blood not used for energy to attach itself to hemoglobin (1;2). The reaction does not require an enzyme, but occurs spontaneously (1).

The concentration of glycosylated hemoglobin determined by an assay can be used to determine the status of a diabetic patient and effectiveness of treatment (1;2). The glycosylated hemoglobin assay has been found to be a more effective tests than others such as the oral glucose tolerance test for the detection of diabetes (3).

Reference List

1. Devlin TM. Textbook of Biochemistry with Clinical Correlations. Philadelphia: Wiley-Liss, 2002, pp893-4.
2. Diabetes and Hormone Center of the Pacific. Glycosylated hemoglobin testing. Available at:
3. Dods RF, Bolmey C. Glycosylated Hemoglobin Assay and Oral Glucose Tolerance Test Compared for Detection of Diabetes Mellitus. Clin Chem 25/5, 764-768, 1979. Available at:


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