It is a glucose attached to haemoglobin, a kind of protein, which is found in red blood cells (RBCs). Haemoglobin A1C transports oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. In diabetics, haemoglobin is measured to analyse the index of average blood glucose for the last three to four months.
For conducting the A1C test, a blood sample of diabetic is required. The blood is normally drawn from a vein at the back of the hand. The area from which blood is taken is cleaned using an antiseptic. An elastic band is placed on that area to gather blood in the vein. This is done to get an adequate amount of blood without causing trouble to the patient. A syringe is inserted into the vein to collect the blood in an injection tube or some other airtight container. For young children, lancet (a special needle) is used.
The result of this test is given in percentage form of number of glycosylated haemoglobin molecules. Result of haemoglobin A1C in non-diabetics (who have normal blood glucose levels) usually ranges from 4 % to 6 %. If the test shows levels between 5.7 and 6.4 %, it is an indication of pre-diabetes, a condition in which non-diabetics are at a greater risk of developing diabetes. Result above 6.5 percent is displeasingly high and a strong sign of poorly controlled diabetes.
This test is usually conducted two to four times during a year. The result of this test shows how much a diabetic has controlled his/her elevated blood sugar level successfully. The number of times this test is recommended is based on some factors such as the type of diabetes (type 1 or type 2 diabetes) and the history of patient’s blood glucose numbers. Not only diabetics but also patients with suspected diabetes can take Haemoglobin A1c test.
The main benefit of the haemoglobin A1C test is that it gives average blood glucose level of a patient over the course of last three-four months. Temporary or recent increases and decreases in the blood glucose levels do not affect the result of the test. By lowering the haemoglobin A1C level, diabetics can control their raised sugar levels. Decreased A1C percentage presents reduced risk of developing diabetes complications such as blindness, heart attacks, heart stroke, poor blood circulation and obesity.
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