A hemoglobin A1C (also known as glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c) test gives you a picture of your average blood sugar (glucose) for the past two to three months. Blood sugar testing is particularly important for people with diabetes or who might have diabetes. For an HbA1C test, you simply have to give a blood sample.
The test is used primarily to determine how well blood sugar is controlled in people with diabetes. It is also used to confirm a diagnosis of diabetes.
HbA1C is formed when some of the sugar in your bloodstream enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with a protein called hemoglobin. If your blood sugar rises, more sugar binds to your hemoglobin, and the percentage of HbA1c in your blood goes up. But if you bring your blood sugar down and keep it there, the HbA1C percentage will fall back toward normal.
Now let's see if your test results fall within the normal range.
What is the result of your HbA1C blood test?
Date Last Modified: 3/31/2010
Source: from Harvard Health Decision Guides, Harvard Health Publications, Copyright © August 2010 by President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Used with permission of StayWell.