A1c provides information about your average blood glucose over the past 3 months. The test is also known as Hemoglobin A1c, HbA1c or Glycohemoglobin Test.
Glycated Hemoglobin is a form of haemoglobin that is measured primarily to identify the 3 month average plasma glucose concentration.
The test is limited to a 3 months average because the lifespan of a red cell is 4 months.
The A1c test is based on the attachment of glucose to the hemoglobin.
This is the protein in the red blood cells that carries oxygen. Red cells are forming and dying continuously in your body, but typically they live for approximately 3 months. Therefore, the A1c reflects the average blood glucose over 3 months. The A1c results are presented as a percentage. The greater the percentage, the higher the blood glucose level has been over the last 3 months.
The normal A1c result is construed as being less than 5.7%.
A result between 5.7 to 6.4% is diagnosed as Pre-Diabetes.
Anything above 6.4% is diagnosed as Diabetes type 2.
It is very normal to have a second test for confirmation of diabetes unless of course you have already been a confirmed diabetic.
The beauty of the A1c test is that it does not need the patient to fast prior to having the blood drawn. With A1c test, the blood can be drawn at any time of the day making it very convenient for every one involved.
For people with confirmed diabetes, it is usual to have your A1c tests done at least every six months if not more.