The Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1C) test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: Hemoglobin A1c is the protein Hemoglobin found in red blood cells, but with glucose attached to it. Hemoglobin A1c is used to check for and monitor diabetes as it shows average blood glucose levels over the past 2 to 3 months.
Also Known As: A1c Test, HbA1c Test, Glycohemoglobin Test, Glycated Hemoglobin Test, Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test, HbA1c Test
Collection Method: Blood Draw
Specimen Type: Whole Blood
Test Preparation: No preparation required
Average Processing Time: 1 to 2 days
When is a Hemoglobin A1c test ordered?
A1c may be requested as part of a routine physical examination or when a practitioner suspects a patient of having diabetes due to characteristic signs or symptoms of high blood sugar, such as:
- Increased thirst and fluid intake
- Increased urination
- Increase in hunger
- Vision is hazy
- Infections that take a long time to heal
Adults who are overweight and have the following additional risk factors may consider doing the A1c test:
- Physically inactive
- Diabetes in a first-degree relative
- Race/ethnicity that is at high risk such as African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders
- Blood pressure that is high
- A lipid profile that is abnormal.
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Cardiovascular disease
- Insulin resistance and other conditions links to insulin resistance
People who have not been diagnosed with diabetes but have been assessed to be at an increased risk of developing diabetes should have their A1c levels tested at least once a year.
The A1c test may be performed 2 to 4 times a year, depending on the type of diabetes a person has, how well their diabetes is controlled, and the healthcare provider's recommendations. If diabetics are fulfilling treatment goals and have stable glycemic control, the American Diabetes Association advises A1c testing at least twice a year. A1c may be ordered quarterly when someone is first diagnosed with diabetes or if control isn't good.
What does a Hemoglobin A1c blood test check for?
Hemoglobin A1c, often known as A1c or glycated hemoglobin, is hemoglobin that has been attached to glucose. By assessing the proportion of glycated hemoglobin, the A1c test determines the average quantity of glucose in the blood during the previous 2 to 3 months.
Hemoglobin is a protein present inside red blood cells that transports oxygen.
Glycated hemoglobin is generated in proportion to the amount of glucose in the blood. Once glucose attaches to hemoglobin, it stays there for the duration of the red blood cell's life, which is usually about 120 days. The most common kind of glycated hemoglobin is known as A1c. A1c is created on a daily basis and is gradually removed from the bloodstream as older RBCs die and younger RBCs replace them.
This test can be used to detect and diagnose diabetes, as well as the risk of developing it. According to the American Diabetes Association's standards of medical care in diabetes, diabetes can be diagnosed using either A1c or glucose.
This test can also be used to track the progress of a diabetic patient's treatment. It aids in determining how well a person's glucose levels have been controlled over time by medication. An A1c of less than 7% suggests good glucose control and a lower risk of diabetic complications for the majority of diabetics for monitoring reasons.
Lab tests often ordered with a Hemoglobin A1c test:
- Complete Blood Count
- Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
- Microalbumin w/creatinine
- Lipid panel
Conditions where a Hemoglobin A1c test is recommended:
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Type 2 Diabetes
How does my health care provider use a Hemoglobin A1c test?
Adults can use the hemoglobin A1c test to screen for and diagnose diabetes and prediabetes.
A fasting glucose or oral glucose tolerance test should be done to screen or diagnose diabetes in these instances.
The A1c test is also used to track diabetics' glucose control over time. Diabetics strive to maintain blood glucose levels that are as close to normal as feasible. This helps to reduce the risks of consequences associated with chronically high blood sugar levels, such as progressive damage to body organs such as the kidneys, eyes, cardiovascular system, and nerves. The result of the A1c test depicts the average quantity of glucose in the blood over the previous 2-3 months. This can help diabetics and their healthcare professionals determine whether the steps they're taking to control their diabetes are working or if they need to be tweaked.
A1c is a blood test that is usually used to help newly diagnosed diabetics identify how high their uncontrolled blood glucose levels have been in the previous 2-3 months. The test may be ordered multiple times throughout the control period, and then at least twice a year after that to ensure that good control is maintained.
What does my Hemoglobin A1c test result mean?
HbA1c levels is currently reported as a percentage for monitoring glucose control, and it is suggested that most diabetics try to keep their hemoglobin A1c below 7%. The closer diabetics can keep their A1c to the therapeutic objective of less than 7% without experiencing abnormally low blood glucose, the better their diabetes is controlled. The risk of problems rises as the A1c rises.
However, a person with type 2 diabetes may have an A1c goal set by their healthcare professional. The length of time since diagnosis, the presence of other diseases as well as diabetes complications, the risk of hypoglycemia complications, life expectancy, and whether or not the person has a support system and healthcare resources readily available are all factors that may influence the goal.
For example, a person with heart disease who has had type 2 diabetes for many years without diabetic complications may have a higher A1c target set by their healthcare provider, whereas someone who is otherwise healthy and newly diagnosed may have a lower target set by their healthcare provider as long as low blood sugar is not a significant risk.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.