Hemoglobin Levels (cont.)
What is the hemoglobin A1c test?
The hemoglobin A1c test is a measure of the approximate glucose level that
occurred in a person (usually a person with diabetes) over about a
period by determining the person's per cent of hemoglobin A1c. Hemoglobin A1c is
also known as glycated hemoglobin; it is a form of hemoglobin made upon exposure
of hemoglobin in the blood stream to glucose.
- Hemoglobin A1c test is based on the fact that
as blood sugar (glucose) increases, more sugar is bound to hemoglobin, and more glycated hemoglobin is formed.
- Hemoglobin A1c concentration is related to the
average amount of glucose in the blood over about 3 months. Normal
amounts of hemoglobin A1c are about 4%–5.9%.
- Hemoglobin A1c at 6% correlates to
an average glucose level over 3 months of 135 mg/dl.
- Often, the recommended goal for
a person with diabetes is 6.5% hemoglobin A1c (representing a glucose level of 152.5 mg/dl on
- Each 1% above 6%
hemoglobin A1c represents an increase of 35 mg/dl of glucose.
detecting an 8% concentration of hemoglobin A1c would equal a glucose level of
135 plus 70, or 205 mg/dl average over 3 months.
- Concentrations of 8% or more indicate poor glucose control.
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