Top of the page
An A1c test is a blood test that checks your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months. This test also is called a glycohemoglobin test or a hemoglobin A1c test.
The A1c test is one of the tests used to diagnose prediabetes and diabetes. If you have diabetes, this test is done to check how well your diabetes has been managed over the past 2 to 3 months. Your doctor can use this information to adjust your treatment, if needed.
You don't need to stop eating before you have an A1c test. This test can be done at any time during the day, even after a meal.
A health professional uses a needle to take a blood sample, usually from an arm. It can also be done using blood from a finger stick.
The test result is usually given as a percentage. The normal A1c is less than 6.0%. You have a higher risk for diabetes if your A1c is 6.0% to 6.4%. If your level is 6.5% or higher, you have diabetes.
The A1c test result also can be used to find your estimated average glucose, or eAG. Your eAG and A1c show the same thing in two different ways. They both help you learn more about your average blood sugar range over the past 2 to 3 months. A1c is shown as a percentage, while eAG uses the same units (mmol/L) as your glucose meter.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter U216 in the search box to learn more about "Hemoglobin A1c: About This Test".
Adaptation Date: 3/2/2022
Adapted By: Alberta Health Services
Adaptation Reviewed By: Alberta Health Services
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 2006-2023 Healthwise, Incorporated. All rights reserved. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.