Diabetes India
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Some FAQs on HbA1C

Some FAQs on HbA1C

Q: Are both blood glucose testing and A1C testing necessary?

A: The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends both blood glucose testing and A1C testing. The blood glucose test is a real-time measurement of glucose, while the A1C test shows the glycemic content of hemoglobin in the patient's blood over time, reflecting blood glucose levels over the previous 90 days or so.

Q: Why is the A1C test important for managing blood sugar?

A: The quantitative measurement of percent A1C is recognized and well established by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) as a way to determine a patient's historical glycemic control profile. Monitoring HbA1C allows your doctor to assess long-term compliance with management protocols, such as diet, exercise and medication. The A1C test shows whether the patient's blood sugar is close to normal or too high.

Q: What does the A1C test measure?

A: The A1C test indicates a patient's blood sugar control over the last 8-12 weeks. A1C is formed when glucose in the blood binds irreversibly to hemoglobin to form a stable glycated hemoglobin complex. A1C is only eliminated by the normal replacement of red blood cells, which have a life span of 90-120 days. A1C values are directly proportional to the concentration of glucose in the blood over a period of 90 days and are not subject to the wide fluctuations of blood glucose monitoring.

Q: Why should patients know their A1C percentage?

A: If patients know their A1C percentage, they will know if their blood sugar is under control. A high number, above 8%, is a sign that the patient should work with the health care provider to change the treatment plan. A good test result, 7% or lower, is a sign that the treatment plan is working and blood sugar is under control.

Q: What is the ideal range for the A1C result?

A: The A1C goal for people with diabetes is less than 7%. A change in a patient's treatment plan is almost always needed if the test result is over 8%. If patients can lower their A1C numbers by any amount, they will improve their chances of staying healthy.

Q: How often should the A1C test be done?

A: People diagnosed as having diabetes should get the A1C test at least two times a year if their blood sugar is in the target range and stable. If they are taking insulin, if their treatment changes or if their blood sugar stays too high, they should get the A1C test at least every 3 months until their blood sugar level improves.

Q: Is there proof that lowering the A1C levels can reduce the risk of complications?

A: Both the DCCT and UKPDS studies showed that the lower the A1C number, the greater the chances that people with diabetes will slow or prevent the development of serious eye, kidney and nerve disease. The studies also showed that if people with diabetes can lower their A1C number by any amount, they will improve their chances of staying healthy.

14 Replies

Very usefull information.

Does age (58 years Indian male. No know family history of diabetes. Identified as borderline diabetic in 2006. Readings under control since 2007) limit the extent to which Hb A1C readings can drop due to comoliance with medication, modified (healthy) diet and regular excercise ?


Very educative and relevant blog.I have only one question to the blogger,whom I presume to be a professional.I take morning and evening medication for diabetes.With medication,my A1C is between 7 and 8.My aim is to bring it down to below 7 for which I am adopting certain life style changes,particularly diet and exercise.My question is, is it safe to target a A1c level below 6?I am asking this because I am trying to bring the level down from above 9(a reading possibly without medication)and the medicines will continue to act even when the reading is below 6, thereby exposing me to the risk of frequent hypo?

Thank you.


A1C value between 5.6 to 7% is consider Excellent Control for Diabetic Patient. One may attempt to decrease the A1C value as low as possible while avoiding Hypoglycemia.


A1C test is being carried out in a normal laboratory or doctors who are specialist in diabetes does this???


my haemoglobin A1C is 6.8 estimation of glucose 141mgs KIT USED: NYCO CARD READER II NORWAY whether it is normal can i able to reduce further if so what type of life style i have to follow kindly help me and oblige urine microalbumin 8mg/l

thank you


I am 75 years old and have diabetes for over 25 years. I have never exceeded Aic 7%

till now and a few days ago when I checked it was only 6%. Whatever Stop Diabetes cited

are really true and those suffering from this controllable but not curable disease should understand seriously so that you maintain fairly good health.


in UK we don't advice regular home monitoring unless there are symptoms of hypoglycemia specially in patients who are on sulphonylureas

how ever patients on sulphonylureas and those who are PSV-HGV-Taxi drivers are advised to check their glucose before a 45 minute journey because of the DVLA rules and public safety

the trend is now to switch to DPP4 antagonists to avoid the huge cost of testing strips and unplanned admissions


Since A1C is related to Hemoglobin, if the Hemoglobin values are less than standard, what are the correction factors, if any to get the correct HbA1C?





HbA1c is very use full. in routine fasting and pp2 B. S. when person goes for check up at this time either he eats less or take proper medicine. while in HbA1c one can check at any time.


Excellent information and thanks.

Dr S K Kapur


Very good presentation that alerts even the unknown.


my HbA1 level is 7.2%. i will try for less than 7%. thanks fo advice.


I am diabetic for last 20 years &Insulin dependent for18 years ( Mixtard 25 & 20, twice aday.B/S levels were still high. Hb1ac 10%. December 2012 underwent Byepass surgery at Apollo Hospital Delhi.there I was put on Humalog ( 18 + 6 ) & Lantus 22 in night also Tagenta tab after lunch. It seems that my blood sugar levels are in average120F &155PP. Also I walk morning 2km, in morning & same distance i & time in evening. My age is 68 years & Weight is 89 kg height is 5.7ft. However I feel weakness in legs & pain in nerves & spasm in lower back . I also have swelling in legs &take Diator 10 twice. Could you advise if I can consult you on phone or email. Thanks Ajai Singh


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