Testing for Hemoglobin A1c, also called HbA1c, reveals your average blood sugar levels in the past 2 to 3 months. When sugar enters your bloodstream, it attaches to hemoglobin, a protein that can be found on your red blood cells. If there’s a lot of sugar in your blood, you will have a lot of hemoglobin that is coated with sugar (which is also called glycated). The A1c test measures the percentage of blood cells with sugar-coated hemoglobin. Red blood cells are in the bloodstream for 3 month, which is why you can trace back your average blood sugar levels over up to 3 months. It is a common test to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes. The higher your A1c level is, the higher was your blood sugar level and the higher is the risk for complications because of it.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All About Your A1C. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/managing-blood-sugar/a1c.html (accessed 3. August 2020)
- Mayo Clinic. A1C test. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/a1c-test/about/pac-20384643 (accessed 3. August 2020)
- WebMD. Hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) Test for Diabetes. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/glycated-hemoglobin-test-hba1c (accessed 3. August 2020)