BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuA1C testHbA1C test; Glycated hemoglobin test; Glycohemoglobin test; Hemoglobin A1C; Diabetes - A1C; Diabetic - A1CA1C is a lab test that shows the average level of blood sugar (glucose) over the previous 3 months. It shows how well you are controlling your blood sugar to help prevent complications from diabetes.Related video goes here for no-HTML5 browsers How the Test is Performed A blood sample is needed. Two methods are available:Blood drawn from a vein. This is done at a lab. Finger stick. This can be done in your health care provider's office. Or, you may be prescribed a kit that you can use at home. In general, this test is less accurate than methods done in a laboratory. How to Prepare for the Test No special preparation is needed. The food you have recently eaten does not affect the A1C test, so you do not need to fast to prepare for this blood test. How the Test will Feel With a finger stick, you may feel slight pain.With blood drawn from a vein, you may feel a slight pinch or some stinging when the needle is inserted. Afterward, there may be some throbbing or a slight bruise. This soon goes away. Why the Test is Performed Your provider may order this test if you have diabetes. It shows how well you are controlling your diabetes. DiabetesDiabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The test may also be used to screen for diabetes.Ask your provider how often you should have your A1C level tested. Usually, testing every 3 or 6 months is recommended. Normal Results The following are the results when A1C is being used to diagnose diabetes:Normal (no diabetes): Less than 5.7% Pre-diabetes: 5.7% to 6.4% Diabetes: 6.5% or higher If you have diabetes, you and your provider will discuss the correct range for you. For many people, the goal is to keep the level below 7%. The test result may be incorrect in people with anemia, kidney disease, or certain blood disorders (thalassemia). Talk to your provider if you have any of these conditions. Certain medicines can also result in a false A1C level.ThalassemiaThalassemia is a blood disorder passed down through families (inherited) in which the body makes an abnormal form or inadequate amount of hemoglobin....ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article The examples above are common measurements for results of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your provider about the meaning of your specific test results. What Abnormal Results Mean An abnormal result means that you have had a high blood sugar level over a period of weeks to months.If your A1C is above 6.5% and you do not already have diabetes, you may be diagnosed with diabetes.If your level is above 7% and you have diabetes, it often means that your blood sugar is not well controlled. You and your provider should determine your target A1C.Many labs now use the A1C to calculate an estimated average glucose (eAG). This estimate may be different from the average blood sugars you are recording from your glucose meter or continuous glucose monitor. Talk to your provider about what this means. The actual blood sugar readings are usually more reliable than the estimated average glucose based on the A1C.Estimated average glucose (eAG)Estimated average glucose (eAG) is an estimated average of your blood sugar (glucose) levels over a period of 2 to 3 months. It is based on your A1C...Read Article Now Book Mark Article The higher your A1C, the higher the risk that you will develop problems such as:Eye disease Eye diseaseDiabetes can harm the eyes. It can damage the small blood vessels in the retina, the back part of your eye. This condition is called diabetic retin...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Heart disease Kidney disease Kidney diseaseKidney disease or kidney damage often occurs over time in people with diabetes. This type of kidney disease is called diabetic nephropathy.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Nerve damage Nerve damageNerve damage that occurs in people with diabetes is called diabetic neuropathy. This condition is a complication of diabetes.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Stroke If your A1C stays high, talk to your provider about how to best manage your blood sugar.How to best manage your blood sugarWhen you have diabetes, you should have good control of your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is not controlled, serious health problems called comp...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Risks There is little risk involved with having your blood taken. Veins and arteries vary in size from one person to another and from one side of the body to the other. Taking blood from some people may be more difficult than from others.Other risks of having blood drawn are slight, but may include:Excessive bleeding Multiple punctures to locate veins Fainting or feeling lightheaded Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin) Infection (a slight risk any time the skin is broken) Open ReferencesReferencesAmerican Diabetes Association. 6. Glycemic targets: standards of medical care in diabetes - 2020. Diabetes Care. 2020;43(Suppl 1):S66-S76. PMID: 31862749 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31862749/.Chernecky CC, Berger BJ. Glycosylated hemoglobin (GHb, glycohemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, HbA1a, HbA1b, HbA1c) - blood. In: Chernecky CC, Berger BJ, eds. Laboratory Tests and Diagnostic Procedures. 6th ed. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:596-597.AllVideoImagesTogBlood test - illustration Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.Blood testillustrationBlood test - illustration Blood is drawn from a vein (venipuncture), usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. A needle is inserted into the vein, and the blood is collected in an air-tight vial or a syringe. Preparation may vary depending on the specific test.Blood testillustration Tests for A1C test A1C testRelated Information Diabetes(Condition)Diabetes tests and checkups(Self-Care)Diabetes - type 1(In-Depth)Diabetes diet(In-Depth)Diabetes - type 2(In-Depth) Review Date: 5/13/2020 Reviewed By: Brent Wisse, MD, board certified in Metabolism/Endocrinology, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- © 1997- All rights reserved. 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