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The HbA1c test, also known as glycated haemoglobin or A1c test, is a blood test used to measure the average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. This test is used to diagnose and monitor diabetes, as well as to assess the effectiveness of diabetes management. In this article, we will discuss what the HbA1c test is, how it is performed, what the results mean, and how it differs from a home glucose test.
What is the HbA1c test?
The HbA1c test measures the percentage of hemoglobin in the blood that is coated with sugar molecules. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When sugar molecules attach to hemoglobin, they form glycated hemoglobin or HbA1c. The more sugar in the blood, the more hemoglobin becomes glycated. As a result, the HbA1c test provides a measure of how well blood sugar levels have been controlled over time.
What does HbA1c mean?
The HbA1c level is reported as a percentage of the total hemoglobin in the blood. For people without diabetes, the normal range is typically between 4% and 5.6%. For people with diabetes, the target HbA1c level varies depending on the type of diabetes, age, and other factors. Generally, a target HbA1c level of less than 7% is recommended for people with diabetes to reduce the risk of complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage.
How is a HbA1c test performed?
A HbA1c test is a simple blood test that can be performed at The Scan Clinic London, The test does not require any special preparation, such as fasting or drinking a special solution. All that is required is a small draw of blood from a vein in the arm to be sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results are typically available within a 1-2 days.
Understanding the results from a HbA1c test
The results of a HbA1c test provide an average blood sugar level over the past 2-3 months. Higher HbA1c levels indicate that blood sugar levels have been consistently high over this period, which can increase the risk of complications from diabetes. Lower HbA1c levels indicate that blood sugar levels have been well-controlled, which can reduce the risk of complications. The HbA1c test is useful for monitoring diabetes management over time and making adjustments to treatment plans as needed.
What are the HbA1c normal ranges?
As mentioned earlier, for people without diabetes, the normal range is typically between 4% and 5.6%. For people with diabetes, the target HbA1c level varies depending on the type of diabetes, age, and other factors. Generally, a target HbA1c level of less than 7% is recommended for people with diabetes to reduce the risk of complications such as heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. However, some people with diabetes may have a lower or higher target HbA1c level depending on their individual circumstances.
What’s the difference between a home glucose test and a HbA1c test?
A home glucose test measures the amount of sugar in the blood at a specific moment in time. This test is useful for monitoring blood sugar levels throughout the day and making immediate adjustments to treatment plans. However, a home glucose test does not provide information about blood sugar levels over time, which is where the HbA1c test is useful. The HbA1c test provides an average blood sugar level over the past 2
HbA1c Converter – HbA1c Conversion Chart
If you are looking for a handy convertor to convert your HbA1c reading into a percentage or an average blood glucose then you can use our convertor tool below, simply enter your HbA1c test result into the input below and click convert!
If you prefer to refer to a chart then please see below – source Southend University Hospital NHS