Back to Ask the Diabetes Team Ask the Diabetes Team

From Little Rock, Arkansas, USA:

An A1c was drawn on a two-month-old by mistake (supposed to be a hemoglobin electrophoresis) and it was 2.6. I was wondering if there are normative values for children of this age. In this otherwise normal newborn (with sickle cell trait on his newborn screen), should I be concerned?


This is an excellent question and the short answer is "YES" - an A1c obtained in this young of a child must be interpreted with caution. The A1c value not only reflects the proportion of glucose that has been around to "stick" to the protein called hemoglobin, but it also reflects the quantity and QUALITY of the hemoglobin. The A1c also reflects overall glucose concentration over the prior 8 to 12 weeks.

So, an A1c in a two-month-old may not be all that informative. Furthermore, new babies still have a specific variant of hemoglobin that typically only occurs in fetus and for a few months thereafter. This "fetal hemoglobin" has a different attraction for glucose than typical normal hemoglobin. In addition, other qualitative hemoglobin variants, such as sickle cell hemoglobin, also have different affinities for glucose. The method by which the A1c is measured may be influenced significantly by these hemoglobin variants.

My guess is that the "true" A1c of the infant is normal. I also presume that you were not concerned with the child actually having diabetes.

If you wanted to pursue this, 1 way would be to ask for a "total glycohemoglobin (total GHb)" - method that measures ALL the various hemoglobins with glucose attached. A normal total GHb typically has a slightly higher normal range than an A1c.


Original posting 9 Jan 2008
Posted to A1c, Glycohemoglobin, HgbA1c


  Home Return to Top

Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
This Internet site provides information of a general nature and is designed for educational purposes only. If you have any concerns about your own health or the health of your child, you should always consult with a physician or other health care professional.

This site is published by T-1 Today, Inc. (d/b/a Children with Diabetes), a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which is responsible for its contents.
By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Legal Notice, and Privacy Policy.
© Children with Diabetes, Inc. 1995-2015. Comments and Feedback.