A Hemoglobin A1C test is used to measure glucose in the blood in the last 2-3 months. It can also be used to screen for or aid in the diagnosis of diabetes.
Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that helps to carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Sugars such as glucose link up with hemoglobin molecules causing them to become glycated. A Hemoglobin A1C test provides a measurement of a person's average blood glucose levels over the past 2-3 months by determining the percentage of their hemoglobin which is glycated.
This test includes a calculation for estimated average glucose (eAG). EAG is a measurement which indicates a person's average daily blood sugar level. EAG is reported in the same units a person with Diabetes would see from the glucose meter they use to measure their own blood sugar. This measurement can give a person a more accurate assessment of how well they are managing their glucose levels because it is not based on single measurements taken at a specific time. The use of the Hemoglobin A1C with eAG test is endorsed by the American Diabetes Association.
This test is typically ordered when someone is monitoring their ability to control their blood sugar. Your doctor may recommend having the Hemoglobin A1C test two to four times per year to monitor treatment. It is also useful as a periodic screening to assess a person's risk for developing Diabetes.
Turnaround time for the Hemoglobin A1C test is typically 1 business day.
The Hemoglobin A1C test has no fasting requirements.Hemoglobin A1C Overview