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HbA1c Test
(Hemoglobin A1c )

HbA1c Quick Overview

  • Hemoglobin A1c, often abbreviated HbA1c, is a form of hemoglobin (a blood pigment that carries oxygen) that is bound to glucose.
  • The blood test for HbA1c level is routinely performed in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
  • HbA1c levels are reflective of how well diabetes is controlled.
  • HbA1c is also known as glycosylated or glycated hemoglobin.
  • HbA1c levels are reflective of blood glucose levels over the past six to eight weeks and do not reflect daily ups and downs of blood glucose.
  • High HbA1c levels indicate poorer control of diabetes than levels in the normal range.
  • HbA1c is typically measured to determine how well a type 1 or type 2 diabetes treatment plan (including medications, exercise, or dietary changes) is working.

What Is HbA1c?

Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying pigment that gives blood its red color and is also the predominant protein in red blood cells. About 90% of hemoglobin is hemoglobin A (the "A" stands for adult type). Although one chemical component accounts for 92% of hemoglobin A, approximately 8% of hemoglobin A is made up of minor components that are chemically slightly different. These minor components include hemoglobin A1c, A1b, A1a1, and A1a2. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) is a minor component of hemoglobin to which glucose is bound. HbA1c also is sometimes referred to as glycated, glycosylated hemoglobin, or glycohemoglobin.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/29/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about HbA1c Test (Hemoglobin A1c ):

HbA1C Test - High Levels

Are the test results for your HbA1c levels high? If so, what things have been helpful in lowering your HbA1c blood levels and are they working?

Hemoglobin - Treatment

Please describe how monitoring your hemoglobin levels has helped with the treatment of your condition.

Hemoglobin Levels - Experience

Please describe your experience with hemoglobin levels.

Normal Range for HbA1c

The normal values listed here -- called a reference range -- are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

SOURCE: Healthwise


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