Guide To Hba1c
Tweet HbA1c is a term commonly used in relation to diabetes. This guide explains what HbA1c is, how it differs from blood glucose levels and how it's used for diagnosing diabetes. What is HbA1c? The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming 'glycated'. By measuring glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), clinicians are able to get an overall picture of what our average blood sugar levels have been over a period of weeks/months. For people with diabetes this is important as the higher the HbA1c, the greater the risk of developing diabetes-related complications. HbA1c is also referred to as haemoglobin A1c or simply A1c. HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin (A1c), which identifies average plasma glucose concentration. How does HBA1c return an accurate average measurement of average blood glucose? When the body processes sugar, glucose in the bloodstream naturally attaches to haemoglobin. The amount of glucose that combines with this protein is directly proportional to the total amount of sugar that is in your system at that time. Because red blood cells in the human body survive for 8-12 weeks before renewal, measuring glycated haemoglobin (or HbA1c) can be used to reflect average blood glucose levels over that duration, providing a useful longer-term gauge of blood glucose control. If your blood sugar levels have been high in recent weeks, your HbA1c will also be greater. HbA1c targets The HbA1c target for people with diabetes to aim for is: 48 mmol/mol (6.5%) Note that this is a general target and people with diabetes should be given an individual target to aim towards by their health team. An individual HbA1c should take into account Continue reading >>
Why Hemoglobin A1c Is Not A Reliable Marker
Over the last few years doctors are increasingly relying on a test called hemoglobin A1c to screen for insulin resistance and diabetes. It’s more practical (and significantly cheaper) than post-meal glucose testing, and it’s less likely to be skewed by day-to-day changes than fasting blood glucose. While this sounds good in theory, the reality is not so black and white. The main problem is that there is actually a wide variation in how long red blood cells survive in different people. What is hemoglobin A1c? Sugar has a tendency to stick to stuff. Anyone that has cooked with sugar can tell you that. In our bodies, sugar also sticks – especially to proteins. The theory behind the A1c test is that our red blood cells live an average of three months, so if we measure the amount of sugar stuck to these cells (which is what the hemoglobin A1c test does), it will give us an idea of how much sugar has been in the blood over the previous three months. The number reported in the A1c test result (i.e. 5.2) indicates the percentage of hemoglobin that has become glycated (stuck to sugar). Why is hemoglobin A1c unreliable? While this sounds good in theory, the reality is not so black and white. The main problem is that there is actually a wide variation in how long red blood cells survive in different people. This study, for example, shows that red blood cells live longer than average at normal blood sugars. Researchers found that the lifetime of hemoglobin cells of diabetics turned over in as few as 81 days, while they lived as long as 146 days in non-diabetics. This proves that the assumption that everyone’s red blood cells live for three months is false, and that hemoglobin A1c can’t be relied upon as a blood sugar marker. In a person with normal blood sugar, hemoglobin Continue reading >>
Average blood glucose and the A1C test Your A1C test result (also known as HbA1c or glycated hemoglobin) can be a good general gauge of your diabetes control, because it provides an average blood glucose level over the past few months. Unlike daily blood glucose test results, which are reported as mg/dL, A1C is reported as a percentage. This can make it difficult to understand the relationship between the two. For example, if you check blood glucose 100 times in a month, and your average result is 190 mg/dL this would lead to an A1C of approximately 8.2%, which is above the target of 7% or lower recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for many adults who are not pregnant. For some people, a tighter goal of 6.5% may be appropriate, and for others, a less stringent goal such as 8% may be better.1 Talk to your doctor about the right goal for you. GET YOURS FREE The calculation below is provided to illustrate the relationship between A1C and average blood glucose levels. This calculation is not meant to replace an actual lab A1C result, but to help you better understand the relationship between your test results and your A1C. Use this information to become more familiar with the relationship between average blood glucose levels and A1C—never as a basis for changing your disease management. See how average daily blood sugar may correlate to A1C levels.2 Enter your average blood sugar reading and click Calculate. *Please discuss this additional information with your healthcare provider to gain a better understanding of your overall diabetes management plan. The calculation should not be used to make therapy decisions or changes. What is A1C? Performed by your doctor during your regular visits, your A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels by taking a Continue reading >>
Preparing For Diabetes Labs And Other Tests
When people take insulin or diabetes pills to control blood sugar, it might take some extra planning before getting lab work and other tests done. Many tests, such as a blood test to measure cholesterol, require that a person stop eating, drinking, and taking medicine for a certain amount of time before the test. Tests can also be stressful for people. Stress can cause blood sugar levels to go up. When that happens, a person needs to test blood sugar levels more often and adjust medicine as needed. If you're worried about any tests that you have scheduled, even if the test isn't related to diabetes, talk to your doctor or other member of your health care team. Ask if you need to do anything special to prepare and whether the test might affect your blood sugar levels. Preparing for Tests Tests that require you to be at the medical facility for several hours Some tests require you to be at the medical facility for several hours. Even if you don't need to make any changes in what you eat or drink, tell the people in charge of the testing that you have diabetes. Ask if there are any special steps you need to take to make sure you can keep your blood sugar levels stable. A week or so before the test, make sure you know: What time you'll be having your test. How the test fits with your schedule for eating and taking your diabetes medicines. When your diabetes medicine is likely to reach its peak. If it's during the test, find out if you will be able to eat or drink something right before or right after the test to keep your blood sugar from dropping too low. On the day of your test: Take glucose tablets or a carbohydrate snack and your diabetes medicine with you to the test. Remind the people doing the test that you have diabetes. Tell them when you last ate and, if you take Continue reading >>
Which Is More Important: The A1c Test Or Fasting Glucose Level?
With all due respect to the other people who have answered, —Neither— as both are IMO as much “different” as they are equally important for both the patient and the physician. While the A1C test, which measures an average glucose level over a period of about 3 months, to wit (credit to Wikipedia) : Glycated hemoglobin is a form of hemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the three-month average plasma glucose concentration. The test is limited to a three-month average because the lifespan of a red blood cell is four months. Wikipedia and the fasting glucose level just gives you a snapshot of a single moment in time, after consuming No Liquids for “8-hours” before the blood draw… though it’s also 8–10 hrs in some journals, and I’m not so sure if 10–12+ hours necessarily makes that much more difference. Frequently, if one tests somewhat high for 2 or more fasting levels, or the levels are rising, then the physician may very well order the A1C Not only can the A1C help diagnose diabetes, but many physicians may use it to also use it post diagnosis to monitor how well the diabetic patient is participating in controlling their diabetes. Nat, just my diabetic $.02 worth Continue reading >>
- Elderly A1C Targets: Should Older People Have More Relaxed Glucose Goals?
- A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
- A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes
You’ll need to get your blood sugar tested to find out for sure if you have prediabetes or type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. Testing is simple, and results are usually available quickly. Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, and Prediabetes Your doctor will have you take one or more of the following blood tests to confirm the diagnosis: A1C Test This measures your average blood sugar level over the past 2 or 3 months. An A1C below 5.7% is normal, between 5.7 and 6.4% indicates you have prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher indicates you have diabetes. Fasting Blood Sugar Test This measures your blood sugar after an overnight fast (not eating). A fasting blood sugar level of 99 mg/dL or lower is normal, 100 to 125 mg/dL indicates you have prediabetes, and 126 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes. Glucose Tolerance Test This measures your blood sugar before and after you drink a liquid that contains glucose. You’ll fast (not eat) overnight before the test and have your blood drawn to determine your fasting blood sugar level. Then you’ll drink the liquid and have your blood sugar level checked 1 hour, 2 hours, and possibly 3 hours afterward. At 2 hours, a blood sugar level of 140 mg/dL or lower is considered normal, 140 to 199 mg/dL indicates you have prediabetes, and 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes. Random Blood Sugar Test This measures your blood sugar at the time you’re tested. You can take this test at any time and don’t need to fast (not eat) first. A blood sugar level of 200 mg/dL or higher indicates you have diabetes. Result* A1C Test Fasting Blood Sugar Test Glucose Tolerance Test Random Blood Sugar Test Normal Below 5.7% 99 mg/dL or below 140 mg/dL or below Prediabetes 5.7 – 6.4% 100 – 125 mg/dL 140 – 199 mg/dL Diabetes 6.5% or Continue reading >>
What Is The A1c Test?
The A1C ("A-one-C") is a blood test that checks your child’s average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. This average is different from your child’s day to day blood sugar. Sugar absorbed from food goes into the bloodstream. The sugar sticks to the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells, forming hemoglobin A1C. The A1C stays in the blood for the life of the red blood cell, which is 90 to 120 days. This means that the amount of A1C in your child’s blood reflects how high the blood sugar has been over the past 3 months. Another name for this test is hemoglobin A1C test. It is different from a regular blood sugar or blood glucose test. Why is this test done? There are 3 reasons to check your child’s A1C: To diagnose prediabetes To diagnose diabetes To see how well your child’s blood sugar is being controlled A1C tests are important because: They can check the accuracy of the blood sugar results you get at home. They help predict your child’s risk of diabetic complications. The higher the A1C percentage, the greater the risk of serious problems from diabetes, like eye, kidney, blood vessel, or nerve damage. If your child’s A1C is high, the plan for treating your child’s diabetes will need to be changed. How do I prepare my child for this test? Your child doesn’t need to do anything to prepare for this test. One of the advantages of this test is that your child does not have to fast before taking the test. How is the test done? Having this test will take just a few minutes. A small amount of blood is taken with a prick of the finger or from a vein in your child’s arm. At some pharmacies you may be able to buy a device that allows you to test A1C at home. You may find that the results of the home test are not the same as results of tests done at your h Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Pre-diabetes
Diabetes is disease where the body is unable to produce enough (or any) insulin, does not properly use the insulin that is produced, or a combination of the two. When this occurs, the body becomes unable to process sugar from the blood into the cells, which leads to high blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. A simple blood test – called the A1C test – can show whether you have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, pre-diabetes, or are at risk for developing the disease in the future. The most common types of diabetes include: Type 1 Diabetes When you have type 1 diabetes, your body makes little to no insulin whatsoever. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease; the cause is not fully understood, but it likely relates to genetics as well as environmental triggers. Type 1 diabetes – formerly known as juvenile diabetes - is usually diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, but can surface at any age. It’s critical for people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes to take insulin every day. Type 2 Diabetes When you have type 2 diabetes, your body does not make or use insulin as efficiently as it should. This condition is the most common type of diabetes and is most prevalent among middle-aged and older adults. Type 2 diabetes can be caused by a number of factors including obesity, poor diet and family history. Gestational Diabetes Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy. While most cases of gestational diabetes disappear after giving birth, having gestational diabetes during pregnancy may increase your chances of getting type 2 diabetes in the future. Continue reading >>
Accuracy Of Fasting Plasma Glucose And Hemoglobin A1c Testing For The Early Detection Of Diabetes: A Pilot Study
Abstract Diabetes, often referred as diabetes mellitus, describes a group of metabolic disorders characterized by chronic hyperglycaemia with disturbances of fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism because of the defects in insulin releasing, insulin action, or both. The most common form of diabetes mellitus is type 2 diabetes which is a worldwide chronic disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) testing for the early detection of diabetes and to evaluate the correlation between FPG and HbA1c as a biomarker for diabetes in the general population in Hong Kong. This study also observed and assessed the risk of diabetes by comparing different genders and ages in Hong Kong. A retrospective study was undertaken and the data was collected in the database of a HOKLAS (The Hong Kong Laboratory Accreditation Scheme) clinical laboratory from 200 diabetic and non-diabetic patients (83 females and 117 males, age ranged from 20 to 90) who attended the laboratory during January 2016 to February 2016 for both FPG and HbA1c measurements. A significant correlation between HbA1c and FPG (r2 = 0.713, p < 0.05) was observed in this study. Moreover, patients detected as diabetes in age groups 45–64, 65–74 and ≥75 years old were 2.5, 3 and 6 times respectively higher than that of the diabetic individuals under 45 years old. In conclusion, FPG was significantly correlated with HbA1c and a significant increase in FPG and HbA1c in male was observed by comparing with female. Furthermore, the incidence rate of diabetes mellitus in male was 3 times higher than that in female in Hong Kong and it progressed with increasing age. Further longer term and large scale research in each age group is warranted. Fig. Continue reading >>
Doc: A1c Is Better Screening Test For Diabetes
Dear Dr. Roach: My A1c test on blood sugar is always higher (prediabetes) than my fasting glucose test (normal) on the same visit to the doctor. Which result should I believe? My latest test at a doctor’s office showed that my A1c is 6.2 percent, and fasting glucose is 88 mg/dL. The A1c pretty much remained at 6.2 percent level, while the fasting glucose varied between 81 and 88 in the past two years. The test is drawing a blood sample after a 12-hour overnight fast. I am not taking any diabetes medication. Previously, my A1c results were 5.9 percent in August 2016 and 5.5 percent in December 2016. K.H. Dear K.H.: Both the A1c test and the glucose tests are blood tests for diabetes. The blood glucose test is a snapshot of an instant in time, while the A1c is a measure of the average value over the past two or three months or so. The A1c looks at the amount of sugar molecules on the large hemoglobin protein of the blood. In general, the A1c is a better screening test for diabetes than a fasting glucose test, because fasting blood sugar is normal for a long time (potentially years) before one shows overt diabetes. In early Type 2 diabetes, the only time the blood sugar gets above normal is after eating (the blood sugar is supposed to go up a bit after eating, but in the early stages of diabetes, it goes higher than it should). The most sensitive test for Type 2 diabetes is a glucose tolerance test, where a fixed amount of sugar is given, and the blood is tested after two hours. An elevated level at two hours is prediabetes or diabetes. However, the A1c, which is affected by both fasting blood glucose levels and those after eating, is nearly as sensitive, and is much easier to do. Both the glucose tolerance test and the A1c usually will diagnose prediabetes and diabetes Continue reading >>
Print Overview The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c. The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications. Why it's done An international committee of experts from the American Diabetes Association, the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the International Diabetes Federation, recommend that the A1C test be the primary test used to diagnose prediabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. After a diabetes diagnosis, the A1C test is used to monitor your diabetes treatment plan. Since the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months instead of your blood sugar level at a specific point in time, it is a better reflection of how well your diabetes treatment plan is working overall. Your doctor will likely use the A1C test when you're first diagnosed with diabetes. This also helps establish a baseline A1C level. The test may then need to be repeated while you're learning to control your blood sugar. Later, how often you need the A1C test depends on the type of diabetes you have, your treatment plan and how well you're managing your blood sugar. For example, the A1C test may be recommended: Once every year if you have prediabetes, which indicates a high risk of developing diabetes Twice a year if Continue reading >>
On This Site Tests: Glucose Tests; Urine Albumin; Urine Albumin/Creatinine Ratio; Fructosamine Conditions: Diabetes In the News: Screening, Diet and Exercise Key Factors in Task Force's New Diabetes Guidelines (2015), Task Force Updates Recommendations for Screening for Pre-Diabetes and Diabetes in Adults (2014), New Report Finds that Diabetes is on the Rise (2014) Elsewhere On The Web American Diabetes Association: Diabetes Basics American Diabetes Association: Risk Test American Association of Diabetes Educators Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Diabetes Public Health Resource National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: Prevent diabetes problems - Keep your diabetes under control National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Diabetes A to Z National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program American Diabetes Association – DiabetesPro, estimated Average Glucose, eAG Ask a Laboratory Scientist Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, the American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science (ASCLS). Click on the Contact a Scientist button below to be re-directed to the ASCLS site to complete a request form. If your question relates to this web site and not to a specific lab test, please submit it via our Contact Us page instead. Thank you. Continue reading >>
What’s The Deal With The A1c Blood Test?
Just as you’re congratulating yourself for staying relatively healthy and fit and eating right, along comes the bad-news notification from your doctor’s office. You have pre-diabetes. Say what? In your recollection, you’ve passed every fasting blood sugar test with flying colors —yes, the one where you zoom to the lab early in the morning, breakfast-less. But this test, your doctor explains, is different. It’s called the A1C or hemoglobin A1C, and it measures your typical blood sugar levels for the past three months. Confused? You’re not alone. Senior Planet investigated. What’s the AIC Test? The A1C become more widespread since an international committee of experts recommended it in 2009 as a way to help diagnose both type 2 diabetes and a condition known as pre-diabetes. (In 2010, the American Diabetes Association included the A1C in its clinical practice recommendations, too.) In pre-diabetes, your blood sugar levels are higher than they should be, but not high enough for a diagnosis of full-blown diabetes. In the past, the test was mainly used to see how those who already had diabetes were controlling their blood sugar — if their medication and lifestyle measures were working. Experts say the switch to more widespread use occurred partly because the labs doing the tests became more standardized, so their results were less likely to vary from lab to lab. The A1C is an easier test, so doctors like to prescribe it in place of the fasting blood glucose or 2-hour oral glucose tolerance tests. “The A1C test has become preferred by many clinicians and patients because it doesn’t require fasting or a 2-hour lab visit,” says Matt Petersen of the American Diabetes Association. Also, the A1C can be done any time of day. So, How Reliable Is the A1C? Like o Continue reading >>
Hemoglobin A1c Test (hba1c, A1c, Hb1c)
Hemoglobin A1c definition and facts Hemoglobin A1c is a protein on the surface of red blood cells that sugar molecules stick to, usually for the life of the red blood cell (about three months). The higher the level of glucose in the blood, the higher the level of hemoglobin A1c is detectable on red blood cells. Hemoglobin A1c levels correlate with average levels of glucose in the blood over an approximately three-month time period. Normal ranges for hemoglobin A1c in people without diabetes is about 4% to 5.9%. People with diabetes with poor glucose control have hemoglobin A1c levels above 7%. Hemoglobin A1c levels are routinely used to determine blood sugar control over time in people with diabetes. Decreasing hemoglobin A1c levels by 1% may decrease the risk of microvascular complications (for example, diabetic eye, nerve, or kidney disease) by 10%. Hemoglobin A1c levels should be checked, according to the American Diabetic Association, every six months in individuals with stable blood sugar control, and every three months if the person is trying to establish stable blood sugar control. Hemoglobin A1c has many other names such as glycohemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, and HbA1c. To explain what hemoglobin A1c is, think in simple terms. Sugar sticks to things, and when it has been stuck to something for a long time it's harder to the get sugar (glucose) off. In the body, sugar sticks too, particularly to proteins. The red blood cells that circulate in the body live for about three months before they die. When sugar (glucose) sticks to these red blood cells by binding to hemoglobin A1c, it gives us an idea of how much glucose has been around in the blood for the preceding three months. Hemoglobin A1c is a minor component of hemoglobin to which gl Continue reading >>
Non-fasting Test Is New Standard For Diabetics
Chapel Hill, N.C. — Many people go through health screenings that include a fasting blood test, which is used to find people at-risk for diabetes and to monitor those with the disease. Now, a more accurate, non-fasting test – called the Hemoglobin A1c – is the new standard. “The fasting glucose test is like a snapshot on diabetes, but the A1c is a short movie – looking at blood sugar over two to three months,” said UNC endocrinologist Dr. John Buse. Buse says the test looks at the amount of sugar stuck to hemoglobin molecules. “It lives inside the red blood cell, which has a lifespan of about two to three months,” he said. The American Diabetes Association now recommends the A1c test be the standard for diabetes screening. For diabetics, the results show a number of 6.5 or higher. In screening, a number below 5.7 is normal and between 5.7 and 6.5 is high risk. To avoid Type 2 diabetes, a doctor might recommend diet and exercise. “There's a good chance you can bring that A1c test down and avoid being diagnosed with diabetes,” Buse said. Buse says about 60 percent of Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented with a low-fat, low-sugar diet and regular exercise if those people are identified early. Continue reading >>