Glycosylated Hemoglobin Can Cause Heart Disease even in Non-Diabetics

May 27, 2008

Glycated hemoglobin is the burning of hemoglobin by excess sugar - it is a form of glycation, a very dangerous free radical generator. Physicians check the level of glycated hemoglobin in diabetics because it gives them a 6 to 12 week portrait of a patients sugar levels and aids their evaluation of diabetes therapy. In the first study, researchers at the University of Cambridge in the UK reviewed the effects of chronic elevated blood sugar in both diabetics and non-diabetics. Chronically elevated blood sugar as assessed by elevations of glycated hemoglobin increased the risk of having cardiovascular disease. This study of over 10,000 people shows that the higher the level of glycosylated hemoglobin, the higher the risk of having coronary artery disease, cardiovascular disease, or dying. For both women and men each point increase in HbA1C (glycated hemoglobin) increased the risk of death by 20% to 30%.

In the second study researchers at Johns Hopkins conducted a meta-analysis that included 10 studies of patients with type 2 diabetes, and 3 studies with type 1 diabetes (insulin dependent diabetes). The analysis of the 13 studies shows that increasing levels of HbA1C in both variations of diabetes was correlated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Both studies appear in the September 21st issue of the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

Glycation Causes Hardening of the Carotid Arteries


Glycated hemoglobin is a measure of cross-linkage damage to protein caused typically by a reaction with glucose. This is often referred to as glycation and it is thought to be a major cause of damage to blood vessel walls and other tissues. In a study of people who did not have diabetes (a condition where glycation is very common), the higher the level of glycated hemoglobin, the greater the extent of hardening of the arteries. High levels of glycated hemoglobin have been associated with an increased risk of dying and an increased risk of hardening of the arteries in other studies. Metabolic states reflected by even modest changes in glycated hemoglobin may contribute to hardening of the carotid and other arteries. The study is published in the July 27th, 2004 issue of Circulation, a Journal of the American heart Association.

Glycation damages cells and speeds up aging; Carnosine and Catalase are antidotes

French vision researchers state that Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE-s) exhibit a number of harmful properties in cells and tissues. As the concentration of AGE-s increase with aging, and this occurs at a faster rate in diabetic individuals, AGE-s are important for aging- and age-associated pathologies (diseases and structural damage), especially for heart disease and type II diabetes. AGE-s are inhibited by some free radical-scavengers, such as L-Carnosine and Catalase. Cell damage caused by AGE-s occurs on the skin and internally in other tissues. The article is published in the French publication Journal de la Société de Biologie 2007;201(2):185-8.