HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) is glycated hemoglobin, which forms when hemoglobin within red blood cells joins with glucose. HbA1c levels reflect the average blood glucose level during the preceding 2-3 months.
HbA1c measurements are useful for determining the risk and diagnosis of diabetes.
- Healthy HbA1c levels are less than 5.7%
- 5.7% – 6.4% indicates prediabetes
- > 6.5% support a diabetes diagnosis
- The recommended goal for diabetic adults is to maintain a HbA1c level of < 7.0%
Higher HbA1c levels are also associated with an increased risk of diabetic health complications, such as retinopathy, heart failure, and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetic individuals generally require an HbA1c test every 3-12 months to ensure that their blood sugar is staying within the target range.
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