Healthy Living

Understanding Your A1c

The A1c test is a relatively simple blood test that can tell you quite a lot about your health. This blood test can identify prediabetes, as well as diagnose diabetes. Understanding your A1c results can help you and your healthcare team assess your risk for diabetes, monitor the effectiveness of your treatment plan, and make informed decisions about lifestyle adjustments and medication management.

What is the A1c test?

The A1c test is a blood test performed by your doctor.  Your A1c results are a measurement of your average blood sugar level over the past three months. If you have diabetes, you should get your A1c checked at least 2 times a year, although your doctor and diabetes care team will tell you exactly how often you need to get your A1c checked. 

What do the numbers mean?

Your A1c results are reported as a percentage. They can also be translated into estimated average blood sugar - a number similar to what you see when checking your blood sugar at home. For example, an A1c of 7.5% means that your average blood sugar for the last three months was about 169 mg/dL. Remember, this average is just a general trend. If your A1c is different from what you expected, talk to your doctor. There is no one-size-fits-all target number. It is important to discuss your A1c target with your doctor to know what number is right for you.