From the American Diabetes Association:
What is an A1C?
The A1C is a blood glucose test that may also be reported as estimated average blood glucose
(eAG). It tells you what your average blood glucose levels have been for the past 2 to 3 months. It does this by measuring how much glucose gets attached to red blood cells. Because new red blood cells are always being made to replace old ones, your A1C can change over time as blood glucose levels change.
How often should I have an A1C/eAG?
Remind your health care team to measure your A1C at least twice a year. If you’re currently changing your medication or making other changes in how you take care of yourself, you may have the test more often.
What is the suggested target for the A1C/eAG?
The Association’s general target for A1C is 7% (eAG of 154 mg/dl). Your doctor may recommend a higher or lower level depending on how old you are and other factors. No matter what your number is, the closer you get to a result of less than 7%, the better your chances of preventing or delaying long-term problems such as blindness. Studies have shown that for every one point decrease in A1C levels, you reduce your risk of long-term diabetes complications by up to 40 percent.
What does my A1C/eAG result mean?
Usually, your A1C will reflect the general trends you see with your day-to-day blood glucose checks. Sometimes, however, your A1C result may seem higher or lower than you expected. That may be because you aren’t checking your blood glucose at times when it’s very high or very low.
To interpret your result, first find your A1C number on the left. Then read across to learn your average blood glucose for the past 2 to 3 months.
If your A1C/eAG is different from what you expect, talk to your health care provider.
- 6.5%……….140 mg/dl
- 7%………….154 mg/dl
- 7.5%……….169 mg/dl
- 8%……….183 mg/dl
- 8.5%………197 mg/dl
- 9%………..212 mg/dl
- 9.5%………226 mg/dl
- 10%……….240 mg/dl
- 10.5%………..255 mg/dl
Do I still need to check my blood glucose with a meter if I get the a1c/eag test regularly?
Both kinds of checking are important. You’ll use your meter results to make day-to-day decisions. The A1C provides an overall picture of what’s going on.
More handouts about this and other topics can be found at http://professional.diabetes.org/PatientEd
For more information visit diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES