Glycosylated hemoglobin was measured, by a colorimetric method, in 49 patients with sickle cell anemia attending Khartoum Teaching Hospital. The level obtained (4.9%, SD 1.3) was significantly lower than the control value (5.6%, SD 0.2; p < 0.0025). Expressed as percentage of the control value, the glycosylated hemoglobin level in these patients was 81 %. This falls midway between the 90% reported in a benign form of sickle cell anemia in Saudi Arabia and the 58% reported in a severe form in an American Black group, which gives support to the observed heterogeneity of sickle cell anemia. Alternatively, glycosylated hemoglobin level in 27 subjects with sickle cell trait (5.6%, SD 0.2) was identical to that of the controls. The state of hemolysis in the sickle cell anemia patients, as indicated by bilirubin levels, did not correlate with the glycosylated hemoglobin values. Although glycosylated hemoglobin measurement is affected by red cell survival, it does not reflect the state of ongoing hemolysis.

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