What Is A Hemoglobin A1c Test And When Is It Done?

Question: What is a hemoglobin A1c test and when is it done?

Answer: Now the Hemoglobin A1c test, or 'A1c' as it's commonly called, is another test that we use to monitor the level of glucose control in people with diabetes.

What it measures is the amount of glucose that's attached to the hemoglobin in the blood, and it gives us an indication of what the average blood sugar levels are during the previous two to three months.

The normal range is 4 to 6 percent of the hemoglobin, and in our diabetic patients, our goal, on an individual basis, is to get people to as close to normal as possible. Now we're generally happy if we can get the level to under 7 percent or even better, under 6 1/2 percent. And this really represents quite good control of diabetes.

If it's above 7 percent then we like to intensify or change our treatment in order to get better glucose control. The reason for this is that we know that the long term complications of diabetes are clearly related to the A1c level. The higher the A1c level, the greater risk of damage to eyes, kidneys, nerves and also greater risk for heart attacks and strokes.


Next: How Useful Is A Urine Test In The Diagnosis of Diabetes?

Previous: What Is An Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) And When Is It Done?

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 3813024. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 3813024. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 3813024.
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...
See It, Share It
PHOTO: Val Kilmer attends the 23rd annual Simply Shakespeare benefit reading of The Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Sept. 25, 2013, in Santa Monica, Calif.
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic/Getty Images
PHOTO: Bart, a cat in Tampa, was struck by a car, buried, and later re-appeared, injured but alive on his owners porch.
Courtesy Tampa Humane Society
PHOTO: Troy Bradley of New Mexico and Leonid Tiukhtyaev of Russia set off from Saga, Japan, shortly before 6:30 a.m. JST on Jan. 25, 2015.
Troy Bradley/Two Eagles Balloon Team via AP Photo