What do A1C level readings mean?


Quick Answer

When used to diagnosis type 1 or type 2 diabetes, an A1C level between 5.7 and 6.4 percent indicates prediabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. A normal, or non-diabetic, A1C level is between 4.5 and 6 percent. For a patient who has previously had a diagnosis of diabetes, the A1C level assists her physician in determining a treatment plan.

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Full Answer

To diagnose diabetes, the A1C level must be higher than 6.5 percent on two separate tests, explains Mayo Clinic. Higher A1C levels indicate a higher risk of diabetes complications, and an A1C level of 7 percent or lower is a common target level for a patient undergoing diabetes treatment and management. It is important to note that certain conditions may result in falsely high or low A1C levels. Patients who have hemoglobin variant, chronic bleeding conditions or certain forms of anemia or who have undergone blood transfusions might experience inaccurate results on the A1C level test.

Until a patient reaches her target control A1C level, she should undergo an A1C test once every three months, according to WebMD. Experts recommend that a diabetes patient has the test performed at least twice a year, regardless of whether she reaches her target control level.

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