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Glycohemoglobin (HbA1c, A1c)

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The American Diabetes Association (ADA) criteria to diagnose diabetes includes the option of testing A1c. The diagnosis of diabetes needs to be confirmed by repeating the same blood sugar test or doing a different test on another day.

Normal

The normal values listed here—called a reference range—are just a guide. These ranges vary from lab to lab, and your lab may have a different range for what's normal. Your lab report should contain the range your lab uses. Also, your doctor will evaluate your results based on your health and other factors. This means that a value that falls outside the normal values listed here may still be normal for you or your lab.

Hemoglobin A1c 1
Normal

Less than 5.7%

Prediabetes (increased risk for diabetes)

5.7%–6.4%

Diabetes

6.5% and higher

The ADA recommends that most nonpregnant adults who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes have an A1c level less than 7%.2 The ADA recommends that most children with type 1 diabetes have an A1c level less than 7.5%.3 The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that most children with type 2 diabetes have an A1c level less than 7%.4 Talk to your doctor about your diabetes treatment plan and your target A1c goal.

A1c and estimated average glucose (eAG) 2
A1c % Estimated average plasma glucose (mg/dL) Estimated average plasma glucose (mmol/L)
6%

126

7.0

7%

154

8.6

8%

183

10.2

9%

212

11.8

10%

240

13.4

11%

269

14.9

12%

298

16.5

High values

Some medical conditions can increase A1c levels, but the results may still be within a normal range. These conditions include Cushing's syndrome, pheochromocytoma, and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Corticosteroid treatment increases the A1c level.

What Affects the Test

Reasons you may not be able to have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:

  • Having severe blood loss or a blood transfusion in the last 3 months.
  • Having certain medical conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, hemolytic anemia, some types of thalassemia, and severe kidney disease.
  • Having your spleen taken out. This changes the normal life cycle of red blood cells and A1c levels.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 06, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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