Overview

The A1C test is a usual blood test provided to diagnose type 1 and kind 2 diabetes. If you"re living through diabetes, the check is likewise used come monitor just how well you"re managing blood sugar levels. The A1C check is likewise called the glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C or HbA1c test.

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An A1C test result reflects your average blood street level because that the previous two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test actions what percent of hemoglobin proteins in your blood room coated v sugar (glycated). Hemoglobin proteins in red blood cells move oxygen.

The greater your A1C level is, the poorer her blood sugar control and also the higher your threat of diabetes complications.


Why it"s done

The outcomes of one A1C check can help your doctor or other health treatment provider:

Diagnose prediabetes. If you have actually prediabetes, you have a greater risk of occurring diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diagnose form 1 and type 2 diabetes. To check a diabetes diagnosis, your doctor will likely look at the outcomes of two blood tests offered on different days — either two A1C tests or the A1C check plus one more test, such as a fasting or arbitrarily blood sugar test. Monitor your diabetes treatment plan. The result of one initial A1C test additionally helps develop your baseline A1C level. The test is then repeated regularly to monitor her diabetes therapy plan.

How regularly you require the A1C test relies on the kind of diabetes, your treatment plan, just how well you"re meeting therapy goals and also your primary treatment doctor"s clinical judgment. Because that example, the A1C test might be recommended:

Once yearly if you have actually prediabetes double a year if girlfriend don"t use insulin and your blood street level is continuously within your target variety Four time a year if you take it insulin or have actually trouble keeping your blood sugar level within her target range

You might need more-frequent A1C test if her doctor changes your diabetes treatment plan or you begin taking a new diabetes medication.


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How friend prepare

The A1C test is a simple blood test. Friend don"t require to quick for the A1C test, for this reason you deserve to eat and also drink normally prior to the test.

What you can expect

During the A1C test, a member of your health care team take away a blood sample by inserting a needle right into a vein in your arm or pricking your finger pointer with a small, pointed lancet. If the blood is taken indigenous a vein, the blood sample is sent out to a lab for analysis.

Blood indigenous a finger prick may be analyzed in her doctor"s office for same-day results. This in-office test is only provided for security your treatment plan, not for diagnosis or screening.

Results

A1C test outcomes are reported together a percentage. A greater A1C percentage synchronizes to greater average blood sugar levels. Results for a diagnosis are construed as follows:

below 5.7% is normal. 5.7% to 6.4% is diagnosed as prediabetes. 6.5% or greater on two different tests suggests diabetes.

For most adults living v diabetes, one A1C level of much less than 7% is a common treatment target. Reduced or greater targets may be suitable for part people.

The target of much less than 7% is associated with a lower risk of diabetes-related complications. If her A1C level is above your target, her doctor may recommend an adjustment in your diabetes therapy plan.

A1C and also self-monitoring

A component of her treatment arrangement will incorporate self-monitoring at house with a blood glucose meter or other device. Her health care team will direct you on just how often and when you need to test your blood sugar.

Your self-monitoring maker reports her blood street levels in milligrams that sugar per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles of sugar per liter (mmol/L). The measurement reflects your blood sugar level at the time you do the test. Therefore, over there is some variability throughout the day based on eating, exercise, stress and other factors.

Self-monitoring help you do choices about diet and exercise and daily therapy goals, however it additionally helps you track whether you room meeting her A1C target. For example, if your A1C target is listed below 7%, your self-monitoring blood street levels have to be, ~ above average, listed below 154 mg/dL (8.6 mmol/L).

A1C test results typically correspond through the adhering to results the blood street levels:

A1C level approximated average blood street (glucose) level
6% 126 mg/dL (7 mmol/L)
7% 154 mg/dL (8.6 mmol/L)
8% 183 mg/dL (10.2 mmol/L)
9% 212 mg/dL (11.8 mmol/L)
10% 240 mg/dL (13.4 mmol/L)
11% 269 mg/dL (14.9 mmol/L)
12% 298 mg/dL (16.5 mmol/L)

Limitations of the A1C test

Some determinants may interfere v the accuracy of A1C test results. These include:

Pregnancy current or heavy blood loss current blood transfusion conditions that result in inadequate red blood cells (anemias) Hemoglobin variants

The many common kind of the oxygen-transporting hemoglobin protein is dubbed hemoglobin A. The visibility of other variants that the protein may an outcome in inaccurate A1C test results. Hemoglobin variants are an ext common amongst people of African, Mediterranean or Southeast oriental descent.

If you have a hemoglobin variant, your test might need to be sent to a devoted lab or you might need a different test because that diagnosis and also monitoring that diabetes.

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American Diabetes Association, skilled Practice Committee. Standards of Medical treatment in Diabetes — 2021. Diabetes Care. 2021; doi:10.2337/dc21-Sppc. AskMayoExpert. Type 2 diabetes mellitus (adult). Mei Clinic; 2018. The A1C test & diabetes. National Institute that Diabetes and Digestive and also Kidney Diseases. Https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/tests-diagnosis/a1c-test. Accessed Jan. 6, 2021. Diabetes overview. National Institute that Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/all-content. Accessed Dec. 4, 2020.