Diabetes And The HbA1c Test
What is the HbA1c test, and why is it important in the management of diabetes? The HbA1c test (also called a hemoglobin A1c test) is a simple finger stick blood test that will tell you what your blood glucose (sugar) levels have averaged over the past 2 – 3 months. Daily blood glucose monitoring is also very important, but average blood glucose levels are not affected by the time of day or food you’ve most recently eaten. They give you an overall picture of your glucose control and will tell you and your doctor if you should make changes in your treatment plan.
Your HbA1c test results are reported as a percentage. It is the percentage of hemoglobin in your blood that has sugar attached. The higher the percentage, the higher your average blood glucose level has been for the past 2 –3 months. According to the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), the target HbA1c level for most people with diabetes should be as close to 7% as possible. The problems associated with diabetes are greatly reduced for those who maintain an HbA1c of 7% or less.1, 2 If your result is 8% or higher, your doctor may want to change your treatment plan so that you can have better blood glucose control.