MEDICAL INFORMATION ON HbA1c (Glycohaemoglobin):
WHAT IS HbA1c?
Blood glucose attaches to haemoglobin in the red blood cells to form glycated haemoglobin. This is known as HbA1c. Other name is Glycohaemogloblin.
HbA1c test was introduced in clinical use in 1980 & has become a cornerstone of clinical practice.
Do you need to be fasting to do this test?
No. It can be performed at any time of the day & does not require fasting. This has made it the preferred test for assessing glycaemic control in people with diabetes.
Why HbA1c test is performed?
If you have diabetes, it is done to measure your blood sugar control over the last 2-3 months. This test is also used to screen for diabetes.
The higher your HbA1c level for the long period of time, higher is the RISK that you will develop COMPLICATIONS such as:
- Eye disease
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Nerve disease
The closer your HbA1c is to normal level, the less the risk you have for above complications.
What level of HbA1c is good for a diabetic?
HbA1c above 6.5% is a criterion for diagnosing Diabetes mellitus.
If you have diabetes you try to keep your HbA1c level below 7%.
If your HbA1c is more than 7%, your diabetes control may not be good & you are at greater risk of diabetes complications mentioned above.
How can I reduce my chance of long term complication from diabetes?
If you can bring your HbA1c level down, you decrease your chance of long term complications.
How often should I test HbA1c?
It is recommended that you test HbA1c every 3 months.
- International Expert Committee Report on the role of the HbA1c assay in the diagnosis of Diabetes.Diabetes Care. July 2009 32:1344-1345
- American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2010 Jan; 33 Supple 1 :S 11-61
- American Diabetes Association. Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes. Diabetes Care, 2012, Jan; 35 Supplement.