How Do You Interpret the Results of Hemoglobin A1C Tests?


Quick Answer

A hemoglobin A1C result between 4.5 and 6 percent is considered normal for a patient without diabetes, a result between 5.7 and 6.4 percent may indicate prediabetes, a result over 6.5 percent may indicate diabetes, and a result above 8 percent may indicate long-term uncontrolled diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic. For a person with diabetes who is receiving treatment, an A1C result below 7 percent is generally considered good.

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Full Answer

Doctors use the hemoglobin A1C test to diagnose diabetes and prediabetes, states Mayo Clinic. Because the test indicates an average of the patient's blood sugar for the past two or three months, doctors also us the test to evaluate the success of treatment plans and how well patient have been managing their blood sugar. Patients receiving treatment for diabetes generally have an A1C test between two and four times a year, or more often if the treatment plan changes or is ineffective. A high A1C result indicates a higher risk for diabetes complications.

The results of the A1C test may be unreliable for patients with low iron levels, chronic or heavy bleeding, or recent blood transfusions. Additionally, people with an uncommon form of hemoglobin may require a specialty test, according to Mayo Clinic.

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