Hemoglobin A1C, also known as glycohemoglobin, is a protein molecule found in red blood cells, which is responsible for transporting oxygen and giving our blood its red colour. This molecule binds glucose in proportion to the concentration of blood sugar. Since the lifespan of red blood cells is approx. three months, HbA1c can adequately detect the average blood sugar level in the body in the 6-8 weeks before the test.
What does the test show?
The test shows the average blood sugar level of the body over the last approx. 100 days.
In which cases is it recommended to perform the test?
Measurement of HbA1c in diabetic patients is mostly used to monitor the disease, but a new diagnostic use of the test is to examine non-diabetic, healthy individuals. The elevated value provides information on carbohydrate metabolism over a 3-month period.
It can be used to recognize prediabetes (a condition that precedes diabetes) and to diagnose the diabetic condition itself.
What sample is needed for the test?
A blood sample taken from a vein is needed for the test.
What can the result indicate?
The value of HbA1c depends on gender, age and other factors. Its value is obtained as a percentage. In case of already diagnosed diabetes, the goal is to keep the percentage between 6-7%. Normal values are below 5.6%, prediabetes is between 5.7-6.5%, and diabetes is above 6.5%.
What to do after the test?
The test alone cannot diagnose any disease, and in all cases consult an internist or diabetologist to determine the exact diagnosis and necessary therapy.