What Does A1C Stand For?
You may have heard of a diabetes test called a hemoglobin A1c, sometimes called HgbA1c, HbA1c, or just A1C. What is an A1C test, and what should you know about it?
HgbA1c is hemoglobin (pronounced HE-mo-glow-bin) that has sugar attached to it. Hemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body. Hemoglobin is an important component of red blood cells (RBCs).
Nearly all cells in the human body need oxygen to power them. All animals with backbones, except one family of fish, have hemoglobin. Hemoglobin and molecules like it are also found in many invertebrates, plants, and fungi.
Types of hemoglobin
The “A” in Hemoglobin A (HgbA) stands for “adult.” After a person reaches six months of age, nearly all the hemoglobin is type A.
About 98% of HgbA is type 1, or HgBA1. There is also HgBA2 (in addition to other types of hemoglobin), but not much. Type A1 has subtypes A1a, A1b, A1c, and others. Type A1c is the most common, making up about two-thirds of hemoglobin with glucose attached.
HgbA1c is a good marker for glucose control, because the more glucose is circulating in the blood, the more hemoglobin will be glycated (covered with sugar).
What an A1C test means
Once hemoglobin is glycated, it stays that way until the red blood cell dies. Red blood cells live an average of three to four months. That is why your A1C level indicates your average glucose over the last few months.
A1C results are expressed as the percentage of all hemoglobin that is glycated. An A1C of 7.0% means an average blood glucose level of 154 mg/dl, according to th Continue reading