The A1C Test

 

1. What is the A1C test?

The A1C test is a simple lab test that reflects your average blood glucose level over the last 3 months. A small blood sample to check your A1C can be taken at any time of the day.


2. Why should I have an A1C test?

The A1C test is the best test for you and your health care team to know how well your treatment plan is working over time. The test shows if your blood glucose levels have been close to normal or too high. The higher the amount of glucose in your blood, the higher your A1C result will be. A high A1C result will increase your chances for serious health problems.


3. What is a good A1C goal?

You and your health care team should discuss the A1C goal that is right for you. For most people with diabetes, the A1C goal is less than 7%. An A1C higher than 7% means that you have a greater chance of developing eye disease, kidney disease, or nerve damage. Lowering your A1C—by any amount— can improve your chances of staying he althy.

If your number is 7% or more, or above your goal, ask your health care team about changing your treatment plan to bring your A1C number down.

Level of Control A1C Number
  • Normal
  • 6% or lower
  • Goal
  • 7% or lower
  • Take Action
  • higher than 7%

 


4. If I am pregnant, what is my A1C goal?

Keeping your A1C less than 6 if you are pregnant will help ensure a healthy baby. If possible, women should plan ahead and work to get their A1C below 6 before getting pregnant.


5. How often do I need an A1C test?

Ask for an A1C test at least twice a year. Get the test more often if your blood glucose stays too high or if your treatment plan changes.

Source: 2003 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada

Important Notice: Information provided is for general background purposes and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment by a trained professional. You should always consult your physician about any health care questions you may have, especially before trying a new medication, diet, fitness program, or approach to health care issues.