Hemoglobin A1C (hba1c)
The Hemoglobin A1C (hba1c) test is a blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes. If you have diabetes, it is used to monitor blood sugar levels.
Who should get a Hemoglobin A1C?
The A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels over the previous 3 months. It is commonly used to diagnose, screen and monitor for pre-diabetes or Metabolic Syndrome of Diabetes.
Glucose is a basic sugar that is used for energy but levels of glucose fluctuate rapidly. Consequently, although a Fasting glucose can be useful to assess sugar metabolism, the A1C level gives more of a snapshot over the previous few months.
The A1C test is indicated for all adults over the age of 45 and for those under 45 but with risk factors for Diabetes including being overweight, having a family history of diabetes, having had gestational diabetes or with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The A1C test can be used to monitor the benefit of sugar lowering medications including insulin.
- 0.5 mL of Whole Blood or finger stick
- Note: Result turnaround times are only an estimate and may be subject to change.
- Test turnaround time for the Hemoglobin A1C test is typically 1-3 business days.
- No special preparation is needed
A1C Target Levels
Normal Results: Less than or equal to 5.6%
No need for concern. Your results fall in a normal range. However, it’s not a bad idea to check every once in awhile.
Pre-Diabetes Results: 5.7% – 6.4%
If you have pre-diabetes, you have a higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. You should also consider getting an A1C test once a year.
Diabetes Results: 6.5%+
To confirm a diabetes diagnosis, your doctor will likely look at the results of two blood tests given on different days — either two A1C tests or the A1C test plus another test, such as a fasting or random blood sugar test
The result of an initial A1C test also helps establish your baseline A1C level. The test is then repeated regularly to monitor your diabetes treatment plan.