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Why Is Hba1c Important?

Hba1c Test Results Don't Tell The Full Story

Hba1c Test Results Don't Tell The Full Story

back to Overview When I was a teenager, the HbA1c test results cut straight through my lies and made-up paper logbook. It’s often viewed as the number to rule all numbers. But hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test results can be misleading and don’t tell the full story. As I learned in my teens, the HbA1c test shines a light on things I was trying to hide. Overall, It’s not good at getting to the details of blood sugars, but when used with other pieces of information it can draw attention to (sometimes unseen) problem areas in our diabetes management, and that’s a good thing. How do HbA1c test results work? Let’s take a quick look at the basics of the HbA1c test. A certain amount of sugar in your blood sticks to your red blood cells and can’t be unstuck. It’s there for the life of the cell, which is, on average, about 8-12 weeks. Those red blood cells in your body are constantly recycled, and by checking your HbA1c value every 8-12 weeks (or as often as recommended by your doctor – the ADA recommends at least twice a year), you get to see a fresh new grouping of them. So – A higher blood sugar for a longer time means more sugar on more cells – which means a higher HbA1c. Get it? Ideal HbA1c range HbA1c goals are very individual, which makes sense. We’re all different, right? Of course, there are reference values as a guide, and that’s a good place to start. The ADA suggests an HbA1c of 7%, but also say that “more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.” Why have different goals? Because, as you know, there’s a lot to consider with diabetes. Avoiding lows (hypoglycemia) while pushing for lower A1c’s is really important because low blood sugars are immediately dangerous. It’s simply not safe to push for a very low H Continue reading >>

Hba1c – Why Is It So Important?

Hba1c – Why Is It So Important?

I am sure that most if not all persons with diabetes are familiar with the term HbA1c. For some people it instills a bit of fear in them especially when there is an upcoming doctor’s visit. To understand why this test is so important we need to understand what it actually is. When we check our blood sugar levels with a glucose monitor it simply tells us how much glucose is in our blood stream at that particular time. A snapshot if you will. The HbA1c shows an average of blood sugar levels over a period of approximately 3 months. This allows us to gauge how effective our treatment and diet plan has been. When our bodies process sugar from the food we eat, it bonds or sticks to a protein in the red blood cells called Haemoglobin (Hb). The combination of this protein and glucose is called glycated haemoglobin. This basically acts as a glucose record keeper. By measuring this glycated haemoglobin you get the average of blood sugar levels over the past 3 months. Higher blood glucose levels will result in more glucose attaching to the haemoglobin which can result in a higher HbA1c result. 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. Red blood cells in the human body survive for 8 to 12 weeks before renewal. Therefore, measuring glycated haemoglobin or HbA1c can be used to reflect average blood glucose levels over that duration. This provides a useful gauge of blood glucose control over a longer period of time. The importance of Your HbA1c Score Diabetes is all about glucose management. We spend day in and day out managing our blood glucose levels. Whether it be correcting a high reading or stuffing our faces with cookies to recover from a low. Everything we do revolves around Continue reading >>

Diabetes Hba1c Test: Why Is It Important?

Diabetes Hba1c Test: Why Is It Important?

Dr Sueziani Binte Zainudin, a senior consultant from the Department of Endocrinology at Singapore General Hospital explains why the HbA1c test is important for diabetes patients. One of the more important tests in diagnosing diabetes is the HbA1c test. Before physical symptoms of diabetes are even noticed, high levels of blood sugar in the body may already have caused damage to some parts of the body. Keeping checks on your blood sugar levels is just one of the steps you can take to nip potential problems in the bud. One of the more important tests in diagnosing diabetes is the HbA1c test. “For people with diabetes, this is an important test as the higher the HbA1c reading, the higher is the risk of developing diabetes-related complications,” says Dr Suzieani binte Zainudin, Associate Consultant, Department of Endocrinology, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth group. 1. What are the different tests to determine if one has diabetes or prediabetes? Based on Ministry of Health’s clinical practice guidelines released in January 2014, diabetes mellitus (more commonly known as diabetes) is diagnosed with one of the following: a. If any abnormal laboratory test results has been confirmed on repeat testing, Plasma Glucose Level (In Mmol/L) Diabetes Mellitus Prediabetes ​​​Impaired fasting glycaemia Impaired glucose tolerance Fasting ≥7.0 6.1-6.9 <7.0 2-hour post 75g oral glucose tolerance test ≥11.1 <7.8 7.8 – 11.0 Random ≥11.1 b. the presence of typical symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst, frequent urination, increased hunger with unexplained weight loss and the laboratory readings meeting the criteria above, or c. admission to hospital for excessive glucose in the bloodstream or severe hyperglycaemia, which is due to the Continue reading >>

Haemoglobin A1 And Haemoglobin A1c

Haemoglobin A1 And Haemoglobin A1c

Professional Reference articles are written by UK doctors and are based on research evidence, UK and European Guidelines. They are designed for health professionals to use. You may find the Pre-diabetes (Impaired Glucose Tolerance) article more useful, or one of our other health articles. Synonym: glycosylated haemoglobin Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) laboratory tests are used to diagnose diabetes mellitus and to assess control in diabetes mellitus. For further information regarding HbA1c monitoring and targets, see the separate Management of Type 1 Diabetes and Management of Type 2 Diabetes articles. Chromatography of normal adult blood divides into two parts: HbA (HbA0) 92-94%. HbA1 (6-8%) where the B chain has an additional glucose group. HbA1 itself consists of three different glycations, the HbA1c subgroup being the most useful, usually measured by isoelectric focusing or electrophoresis. The glycation of haemoglobin occurs at a variable (non-linear rate) over time, during the whole lifespan of the red blood cell (RBC), which is normally 120 days. This means the relative proportion of glycated haemoglobin at any one time depends on the mean glucose level over the previous 120 days. Normal levels (laboratory normal 'range') will differ depending on whether HbA1 or HbA1c is measured, and on the method used - use your laboratory's reference range (EDTA (FBC) bottle).[1] HbA1c is usually a reliable indicator of diabetic control except in the following circumstances: Situations where the average RBC lifespan is significantly less than 120 days will usually give rise to low HbA1c results because 50% of glycation occurs in days 90-120. Common causes include:[1] Increased red cell turnover: blood loss, haemolysis, haemoglobinopathies and red cell disorders, myelodysplastic Continue reading >>

Significance Of Hba1c Test In Diagnosis And Prognosis Of Diabetic Patients

Significance Of Hba1c Test In Diagnosis And Prognosis Of Diabetic Patients

Go to: Introduction Analysis of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in blood provides evidence about an individual’s average blood glucose levels during the previous two to three months, which is the predicted half-life of red blood cells (RBCs).1 The HbA1c is now recommended as a standard of care (SOC) for testing and monitoring diabetes, specifically the type 2 diabetes.2 Historically, HbA1c was first isolated by Huisman et al.3 in 1958 and characterized by Bookchin and Gallop4 in 1968, as a glycoprotein. The elevated levels of HbA1c in diabetic patients were reported by Rahbar et al.5 in 1969. Bunn et al.6 identified the pathway leading to the formation of HbA1c in 1975. Using the HbA1c as a biomarker for monitoring the levels of glucose among diabetic patients was first proposed by Koenig et al.7 in 1976. Proteins are frequently glycated during various enzymatic reactions when the conditions are physiologically favorable. However, in the case of hemoglobin, the glycation occurs by the nonenzymatic reaction between the glucose and the N-terminal end of the β-chain, which forms a Schiff base.8,9 During the rearrangement, the Schiff base is converted into Amadori products, of which the best known is HbA1c (Fig. 1). In the primary step of glycated hemoglobin formation, hemoglobin and the blood glucose interact to form aldimine in a reversible reaction. In the secondary step, which is irreversible, aldimine is gradually converted into the stable ketoamine form.10 The major sites of hemoglobin glycosylation, in the order of prevalence, are β-Val-1, β-Lys-66, and α-Lys-61. Normal adult hemoglobin consists predominantly of HbA (α2β2), HbA2 (α2δ2), and HbF (α2γ2) in the composition of 97%, 2.5%, and 0.5%, respectively. About 6% of total HbA is termed HbA1, which in turn Continue reading >>

An Important Blood Test You Probably Dont Know About: Hba1c

An Important Blood Test You Probably Dont Know About: Hba1c

HbA1c is probably one of the most important blood test results that is central to overall health. Most people have never heard of it, and unless you are diabetic, it is unlikely your doctor will request it. So, what is HbA1c and why is it important? HbA1c is a term commonly used in relation to diabetes. In addition to being useful in the diagnosis of diabetes and useful in monitoring the response of treatment in diabetic patients, HbA1c is also a helpful blood test for those without diabetes as it can give important information about ones health generally, particularly ones risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimers disease. So, lets start with an explanation of what HbA1c is. This video has everything you need to know about this blood test. The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. Red blood cells contain haemoglobin that carries oxygen around the body. At any one time, a small proportion of the glucose in our blood permanently binds to the haemoglobin and the haemoglobin that permanently carries a glucose molecule is said to be glycated. The level or percentage of glycated haemoglobin is proportional the level or concentration of glucose in the blood. So, the higher the blood glucose level, the higher the level of glycated haemoglobin. Red blood cells are continually renewed and recycled. Because red blood cells last about 10-12 weeks, the level of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) in a blood sample is a measure of blood glucose levels during the 10-12 weeks before the blood test. This is often referred to as the estimated average glucose (eAG). HbA1c can identify people with prediabetes and diabetes. So, an HbA1c below 42mmol/mol (or 6.0%) is regarded as normal. People with prediabetes have a level of between 42 and 47 mmol/mol (6.0 to 6.4%) and people with diabet Continue reading >>

What Is Hba1c And A Normal Hba1c Range? Explained In Plain English

What Is Hba1c And A Normal Hba1c Range? Explained In Plain English

Those with type 1 or type 2 diabetes may have seen it before, but what is a normal HbA1c range? This article explores what your HbA1c reading should be and how you can improve it. What is HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c)? HbA1c is a marker that can determine your average blood sugar (glucose) levels over the previous 3-months (1). That means it can be used to assess the quality of your diabetes management, as well as to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes. Sometimes HbA1c is also called glycated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c or just A1c. The ‘Hb’ refers to hemoglobin, a part of red blood cells that carry oxygen throughout your body. ‘A1c’ refers to a minor part of hemoglobin that sugar molecules attach to. The amount of sugar attached is directly proportional to the amount of sugar in your blood at a given time, so this reading is used to accurately reflect average blood sugar levels. If you’ve had high blood sugar levels in the past month or so, your HbA1c levels will be higher too. Summary: HbA1c is a marker that reflects your average blood sugar levels in the previous 3 months. It’s also called glycated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1c or just A1c. Normal HbA1c Range The HbA1c test is measured as either a percentage or in mmol/mol. Below I’ve listed what is considered a normal HbA1c range, and what values would be considered outside of normal (pre-diabetic or diabetic): HbA1c range for normal (non-diabetic) adults: Below 6.0%, or below 42 mmol/mol HbA1c range for pre-diabetes: 6.0% to 6.4%, or 42 to 47 mmol/mol HbA1c range for diabetes: 6.5% or above, or 48 mmol/mol or above. Target ranges are also shown below in this table: HbA1c % mmol/mol Normal Below 6.0% Below 42 mmol/mol Pre-diabetes 6.0% to 6.4% 42 to 47 mmol/mol Diabetes 6.5% or above 48 mmol/mol or above Normal Hb Continue reading >>

Hba1c Test Accuracy

Hba1c Test Accuracy

If you’ve had diabetes for a while, chances are you’ve become familiar with the HbA1c test — a measure of long-term blood glucose control. Your doctor will most likely order this test at your regular appointments, since it’s considered the most reliable indicator of blood glucose control over the previous 2–3 months. According to current guidelines from the American Diabetes Association, most people should aim for an HbA1c level of 7% or lower — and possibly even lower than that, if your doctor thinks it’s a good idea. But the HbA1c test isn’t perfect. One potential pitfall of the test is that while it gives a snapshot of average blood glucose levels, it doesn’t account for blood glucose variability. For example, a person with an average blood glucose level of 120 mg/dl could have glucose levels that are close to that level all of the time, or a glucose level of 140 mg/dl for 75% of the time and 60 mg/dl for 25% of the time. Clearly, the first scenario is much better, since it represents a much lower risk of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). But two people in these different situations would most likely have nearly the same HbA1c level. Another potential problem with the HbA1c test has come to light only recently. Last month, researchers at Harvard Medical School announced — in a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine — that based on their findings, the accuracy of the HbA1c test in reflecting average blood glucose levels depends on the age of a person’s red blood cells. The HbA1c test measures the extent to which glucose has become attached to a protein in red blood cells, so if a person has red blood cells that live slightly longer than another person’s, that person will have a higher HbA1c level even if both of them ha Continue reading >>

Hba1c Testing

Hba1c Testing

The HbA1c test measures your average blood glucose over the previous 8 to 12 weeks and gives an indication of your longer-term blood glucose control. It is used as a screening test to identify diabetes and regular monitoring tool if you have been diagnosed with diabetes. How useful is the test? HbA1c reflects the average plasma glucose (sugar in your bloodstream) over the previous 8 to 12 weeks and measures how much glucose has become stuck onto your red blood cells.(1) It can be performed at any time of the day and does not require any special preparation such as fasting. In recent years, the HbA1c test has become the preferred test for screening and diagnosis of diabetes. In 2011, the HbA1c test in New Zealand was updated to measure in millimoles per mole (mmol/mol) to align with a shift internationally (2). Prior to this, it used to be measured as a percentage (%) and you may still hear people refer to these units at times. The images below show the new and old units. Learning what your target range for HbA1c is very important. Having regular HbA1c tests helps both you and your healthcare team monitor how well your diabetes is controlled and whether any changes in lifestyle or medication are needed. Diagnosing prediabetes and diabetes As a general guide, HbA1c levels of: Less than or equal to 40 mmol/mol is normal. 41 to 49 mmol/mol is prediabetes or 'impaired fasting glucose'. 50 mmol/mol and above suggests diabetes (if symptomatic. If no symptoms of diabetes, two tests on separate occasions are needed). (3) Read more about prediabetes, type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. What are healthy HbA1c levels for people with diabetes? An ideal range or target HbA1c level will vary from person to person and depends on age, type of diabetes and other health conditions or sta Continue reading >>

Guide To Hba1c

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. Tweet Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder that results in hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) due to the body: Being ineffective at using the insulin it has produced; also known as insulin resistance and/or Being unable to produce enough insulin Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the body being unable to metabolise glucose (a simple sugar). This leads to high levels of blood glucose which over time may damage the organs of the body. From this, it can be understood that for someone with diabetes something that is food for ordinary people can become a sort of metabolic poison. This is why peop Continue reading >>

Which Is More Important: The A1c Test Or Fasting Glucose Level?

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 >>

Significance Of Hba1c Test In Diagnosis And Prognosis Of Diabetic Patients

Significance Of Hba1c Test In Diagnosis And Prognosis Of Diabetic Patients

Diabetes is a global endemic with rapidly increasing prevalence in both developing and developed countries. The American Diabetes Association has recommended glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) as a possible substitute to fasting blood glucose for diagnosis of diabetes. HbA1c is an important indicator of long-term glycemic control with the ability to reflect the cumulative glycemic history of the preceding two to three months. HbA1c not only provides a reliable measure of chronic hyperglycemia but also correlates well with the risk of long-term diabetes complications. Elevated HbA1c has also been regarded as an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease and stroke in subjects with or without diabetes. The valuable information provided by a single HbA1c test has rendered it as a reliable biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of diabetes. This review highlights the role of HbA1c in diagnosis and prognosis of diabetes patients. 1. Khan, M.I., Weinstock, R.S. Chapter 16: Carbohydrates. In: McPherson, R.A., Pincus, M.R., eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011: 210–25. Google Scholar 2. World Health Organization (WHO). Use of Glycated Haemoglobin (HbA1c) in the Diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus. Abbreviated Report of a WHO Consultation. Geneva: WHO; 2011. Google Scholar 3. Huisman, T.H., Martis, E.A., Dozy, A. Chromatography of hemoglobin types on carboxymethylcellulose. J Lab Clin Med. 1958; 52: 312–27. Google Scholar 4. Bookchin, R.M., Gallop, P.M. Structure of haemoglobin A1c: nature of the N-terminal beta chain blocking group. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1968; 32: 86–93. Google Scholar 5. Rahbar, S., Blumenfeld, O., Ranney, H.M. Studies of an unusual hemoglobin in patients with diabet Continue reading >>

Hba1c Explained - Type 1 Diabetes Network

Hba1c Explained - Type 1 Diabetes Network

Forum for parents to discuss caring for children with T1 Sign up for our free e-learning for health professionals Chat to others with T1D on a range of topics And an extra special thanks to @CarlyWanderlust for coming along to share her experiences with us! #type1backpacking about 3 years ago Looks like it's time for @CarlyWanderlust to go back to experiencing Colombia! Thanks to all for your questions #type1backpacking about 3 years ago Does anyone have any more questions for Carly about her backpacking adventures? #type1backpacking about 3 years ago Do you have a handle on HbA1c? It may seem complicated, but getting a grip on HbA1c doesnt have to be hard. Whether you have a basic understanding or no idea at all, this article explains all you need to know about HbA1c. Think of it this way sugar sticks. And inside the body, sugar sticks (binds) to red blood cells, creating a red blood cellsugar complex. Technically, sugar sticks to haemoglobin a specific part of red blood cells. (Haemoglobin is what gives red blood cells their colour.) This sugarhaemoglobin complex is called glycosylated (or glycated) haemoglobin, otherwise known as HbA1c (HbA = haemoglobin; 1c = glycosylated). Once red blood cells become glycosylated (stuck to sugar), they stay glycosylated until they die (about 3 months). As red blood cells die, new ones are produced. If the new blood cells are not glycosylated due to better blood glucose control then the overall HbA1C will decrease. Unlike Blood Glucose Level (BGL) tests that you do daily with a glucose meter, HbA1c tests need to be done by healthcare professionals ideally 2 to 4 times a year. They most commonly use the traditional method of withdrawing blood from a vein in the arm (venous blood draw). The blood is sent to a laboratory to measure th Continue reading >>

Diabetes: The Glycated Hemoglobin Test (hba1c)

Diabetes: The Glycated Hemoglobin Test (hba1c)

The glycated hemoglobin test, (HbA1c, also called "hemoglobin A1c" or "glycohemoglobin" and sometimes incorrectly referred to as "glycosylated hemoglobin test") is an important blood test used to determine how well your diabetes is being controlled. The test provides an average of your blood glucose measurements over a six to 12 week period and is used in conjunction with home blood glucose monitoring to make adjustments in your diabetes medicines. Hemoglobin is a substance within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. When your diabetes is not controlled (meaning that your blood glucose is too high), sugar builds up in your blood and combines with your hemoglobin, becoming "glycated." Therefore, the average amount of sugar in your blood can be determined by measuring an HbA1c. If your glucose levels have been high over recent weeks, your HbA1c test will be higher. The amount of HbA1c will reflect the last several weeks of blood glucoses, typically encompassing a period of 120 days. For people without diabetes, the normal range for the HbA1c test is between 4% and 6%. Because studies have repeatedly shown that out-of-control diabetes results in complications from the disease, the goal for people with diabetes is an HbA1c less than 7%. The higher the HbA1c, the higher the risks of developing complications related to diabetes. People with diabetes should have this test every three months to determine whether their blood sugars have reached the target level of control. Those who have their diabetes under good control may be able to wait longer between the blood tests, but experts recommend checking at least 2 times a year. Patients with diseases affecting hemoglobin such as anemia may get abnormal results with this test. Other abnormalities that can affe Continue reading >>

Test Id: Hba1c Hemoglobin A1c, Blood

Test Id: Hba1c Hemoglobin A1c, Blood

Evaluating the long-term control of blood glucose concentrations in diabetic patients Diagnosing diabetes Identifying patients at increased risk for diabetes (prediabetes) Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder associated with disturbances in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism characterized by hyperglycemia. It is one of the most prevalent diseases, affecting approximately 24 million individuals in the United States. Long-term treatment of the disease emphasizes control of blood glucose levels to prevent the acute complications of ketosis and hyperglycemia. In addition, long-term complications such as retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease can be minimized if blood glucose levels are effectively controlled. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a result of the nonenzymatic attachment of a hexose molecule to the N-terminal amino acid of the hemoglobin molecule. The attachment of the hexose molecule occurs continually over the entire life span of the erythrocyte and is dependent on blood glucose concentration and the duration of exposure of the erythrocyte to blood glucose. Therefore, the HbA1c level reflects the mean glucose concentration over the previous period (approximately 8-12 weeks, depending on the individual) and provides a much better indication of long-term glycemic control than blood and urinary glucose determinations. Diabetic patients with very high blood concentrations of glucose have from 2 to 3 times more HbA1c than normal individuals. Diagnosis of diabetes includes 1 of the following: -Fasting plasma glucose > or =126 mg/dL -Symptoms of hyperglycemia and random plasma glucose >or =200 mg/dL -Two-hour glucose > or =200 mg/dL during oral glucose tolerance test unless there is unequivocal hyperglycemia, confirmatory testing should be Continue reading >>

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