, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 205–207 | Cite as

Glycosylated haemoglobin and relative polycythaemia in diabetes mellitus

  • J. J. Graham
  • R. G. Ryall
  • P. H. Wise


Sixty-five diabetic patients had a total red cell count significantly greater than 65 age and sex matched non-diabetics; (4.93±0.06×106 and 4.50 ±0.05×106 red cells/ul respectively; p<0.005). In 110 diabetic patients, total red cell count was positively correlated with the proportion of glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1) (r=0.32, p<0.001). The correlation was maintained in 60 of these patients with a mean blood glucose <15 mmol/l (r=0.33, p <0.05), and in 49 non-smoking diabetic patients (r =0.30, p=0.05). It is proposed that the greater proportion of higher oxygen-affinity HbA1 in comparatively uncontrolled diabetics may be inducing sufficient tissue hypoxia to cause the demonstrated relative polycythaemia.

Key words

Diabetes mellitus polycythaemia glycosylated haemoglobin diabetic control 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Graham
    • 1
  • R. G. Ryall
    • 1
  • P. H. Wise
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and HaematologyFlinders Medical Centre
  2. 2.Endocrine UnitCharing Cross HospitalLondonEngland

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