What Is A1c
A1c is a test that shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. People with diabetes need to have this test done regularly to see whether their blood sugar levels have been staying within a target range. This test is also used to diagnose diabetes.
Blood for an A1c test can be collected at home or at your doctor's office. Home testing may not be an option for everyone. Check with your doctor.
A1c test results show your average blood sugar level over time. The result is reported as a percentage. Your goal is to keep your hemoglobin A1c level as close to the normal level as possible. Studies suggest that the lower the A1c level, the lower the incidence of diabetic complications. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends keeping the hemoglobin A1c less than 7%.
The result of your A1c test can also be used to estimate your average blood sugar level. This is called your estimated average glucose, or eAG. Your eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you know about your average blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months.
The table below shows A1c with estimated average glucose.
A1c levels for children and teens are different. For children younger than 6 years old, the ADA recommends an A1c level less than 8.5%. In children 6 to 12 years old, the recommended level is less than 8%. And in teens, the recommended level is less than 7.5%.2
Results of A1c tests that are read at different labs vary, but standardization among labs is improving.
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