Hba1c Normal Range

Hba1c Normal Range

Last updated on June 19th, 2016

The hemoglobin A1c, also known as the HgbA1c or glycated hemoglobin level, is a measurement of the amount of sugar found on hemoglobin.  Because red blood cells containing hemoglobin live only about 120 days, the test only measures how “sugar-coated” the red blood cell hemoglobin has been over the previous 2-3 months.  The test is done at the doctor’s office but doesn’t replace the normal blood sugar testing that a person does at home.

Hemoglobin is a protein found inside the red blood cells in the bloodstream.  Hemoglobin normally carries oxygen in the bloodstream to the cells of the body and exchanges it for carbon dioxide.  When the blood sugar is elevated, the hemoglobin takes on the sugar and becomes glycated.  If the average blood sugar has been high over the last 3 months, this will be reflected in a high hemoglobin A1c level.

Normal Levels for Hemoglobin A1c

People who don’t have diabetes will have a hemoglobin A1c level of between 4 and 5.6 percent.  If the hemoglobin A1c level is between 5.7-6.4 percent, this indicates prediabetes and indicates that a person is at risk for diabetes.  Any hemoglobin A1c level of greater than 6.5 percent is a presumptive diagnosis of diabetes.  The goal for diabetics is to have the hemoglobin A1c level less than 7 percent.  At this level, there is less risk for having complications of diabetes mellitus.

hemoglobin a1c

If the hemoglobin A1c level is chronically elevated above 7.0 percent, it means the individual is at a high risk for developing complications of diabetes, such as diabetic nephropathy, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic neuropathy, and heart disease complications.

Reference:

  1. The Hemoglobin A1c test for diabetes. http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/guide/glycated-hemoglobin-test-hba1c. Accessed 5/16/16.
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