What Does the A1C Test Check?

The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your three-month average blood sugar levels.

The A1C test is a simple blood test that measures your three-month average blood sugar levels. It is one of the most common diagnostic tests for prediabetes and diabetes. Achieving and maintaining your personal A1c goal is essential if you have diabetes.

What Does the A1C Test Check?

The A1C test measures the percentage of red blood cells that are sugar-coated. Sugar binds to the haemoglobin protein in the blood, and those with higher levels have more sugar bound to haemoglobin.

When and who should have an A1C test?

If you are under 45, overweight, or have risk factors for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, you should get an A1C test. If you have diabetes, you should get tested at least twice annually. Test more frequently if your medication changes or if you have other medical conditions..

How to Prepare for Your A1C Test

There are no special preparation requirements for the A1C test. Inquire with your physician if additional tests will be conducted concurrently. Blood is drawn from a fingerstick or arm vein for the test, which is performed in a doctor’s office or laboratory.

“You are not required to fast prior to having your blood drawn for an A1C test, so blood can be drawn at any time of the day”

But in Pakistan, doctors tell diabetic patients to fast for 14 hours before taking the test.

“Your A1C Result”

5.7% or less is normal, 5.7% to 6.4% is prediabetes, and 6.5% or higher is diabetes. 5.7% to 6.2% A1C for prediabetes increases type 2 diabetes risk. Managing diabetes The same numbers (mg/dL) on a blood sugar metre can be used to report your A1C as your estimated average glucose level (eAG). “

What factors can influence your A1C level?

7% or less is ideal for most diabetics. Your specific goal depends on your age and medical conditions. Younger people with diabetes may not need to reduce complications as much unless they experience them often.

“A1C tests can be affected by changes in red blood cells or hemoglobin”

A falsely high A1C result can occur in people who are very low in iron. People of African, Mediterranean, or Southeast Asian descent may have a different type of hemoglobin.

How precise is the A1C test?

“Repeating the A1C test can change the result. On a subsequent test using the same blood sample, an A1C reported as 6.8% could be between 6.4 and 7.2 percent. 3 New quality-control standards mean more accurate A1C test results.”

Works Cited

CDC. “All About Your A1C.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 21 Aug. 2018, bit.ly/2Nc2IA0.

“The A1C Test and Diabetes | NIDDK.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 1 Apr. 2018, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diagnostic-tests/a1c-test.


Author: DoctorMaryam.org

4th Professional Medical Student. Karachi Medical and Dental College.

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