A1c

Pronounced "ˈhē-mə-ˌglō-bən -ˌā-ˌwən-ˈsē" -- A.K.A:  "HbA1c" or just "A1c"

Simply put, the A1c is a measure of how much sugar is stuck to your red blood cells. A higher A1c = a higher blood sugar average over the past 3 months. Each red blood cell lives for 3 months, so testing a sample of how much sugar is on your red blood cells gives you an idea of how your blood sugar levels have been over the past 3 months.

A1C Low and High Blood Sugar

In general, the goal A1c for most people is less than 7%. Keeping your A1c less than 7 percent significantly reduces your risk for the complication related to diabetes, including retinopathy (eye damage), neuropathy (nerve damage), and kidney damage. Ask your doctor what yours is and if your goal is different than this.

*Your target, once you have diabetes is usually an A1c of 6.5-7% or less.

Remember, a low average because you have had a lot of below target blood sugars, is not a good thing!  Your finger checks should also be in range. 

Example:

A meter download that shows a BG range of 40-240 = average of 140 or 6.5% A1C.

A meter download that shows a BG range of 100-180= average of 140 or 6.5% A1C.

Which is better?

The chart below can help you find out what your average blood sugar is using your latest A1c test result.

HbA1C

Test Score

Average Blood Glucose mg/dL

Action Suggested

14.0%

360

13.0%

330

12.0%

300

11.0%

270

10.0%

240

9.0%

210

Good

8.0%

180

*7.0%

*150

Excellent 

*6.5%

*140

6.0%

120

5.0%

90

4.0%

60

Last modified: Oct 25, 2013
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