What do you understand by Diabetes HbA1C?

By  , Expert Content
Oct 12, 2011

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HbA1C  test is done in people with diabetes. This test measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin present in your blood. Glycated hemoglobin is formed when blood sugar (glucose) attaches to hemoglobin present in your red blood cells. The test helps to identify the average concentration of glucose in your blood over prolonged periods of time (like the past 2-3 months).


In people with diabetes if the blood sugar is not well controlled the level of glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c in blood increases.

  • If your HbA1c is < 6% ---it is considered normal.
  • Recent guidelines consider HbA1c >6.5% as a criterion for diagnosing diabetes.
  • If you have diabetes, you doctor may recommend to maintain your HbA1c level at or below 7%.

Based on the levels of HbA1C your diabetes control can be categorized as;

  • <6---excellent
  • 7-8---good
  • >9—action needed

According to experts the higher the HbA1c level the higher is the risk of developing complications of diabetes such as:

  • Eye disease
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Nerve damage

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) every percentage point decrease in HbA1C level (e.g., from 8% to 7%) reduces the risk of complications (such as eye, kidney and nerve disease) by about 40%.


Consult your doctor for the specific meaning of your test results.


Dr Poonam Sachdeva, our in-house medical expert talks about the why what and how in diabetes.


Read more articles on Diabetes Tests


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