Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size

A1C Blood Test OK for Diabetes Diagnosis

New Guidelines Call for Using A1C Blood Test to Identify People With Prediabetes

How the A1C Test Works continued...

Under the new recommendations, people with A1C levels between 5.7% and 6.4% will be considered to have prediabetes and those with levels of 6.5% or higher will be considered to have diabetes.

Diabetes testing is recommended for:

  • Any adult who is overweight or obese (BMI of 25 or greater) with one or more additional risk factor for diabetes including: having a family history of the disease, belonging to a high-risk ethnic group (African-American, Latino, Native American, Asian-American), having high blood pressure or a history of gestational diabetes.
  • Anyone who is age 45 or older, regardless of risk factors.

Test Could Identify Millions

Buse says the new test could help identify millions of people with prediabetes who would otherwise not be tested for diabetes.

"I'm thinking of an overweight guy who is 40 years old who doesn't see the doctor unless he strains his back or is sick," he says.

Because conditions such as pain and infection can cause temporary elevations in blood sugar, this patient would probably not be tested for diabetes in this setting using the traditional blood glucose tests.

The new guidelines also call for patients with prediabetes to have access to programs designed to promote weight loss and lifestyle changes that could prevent the disease.

Third-party payers do not typically cover these programs but they can be highly effective for preventing diabetes, which is an expensive disease to treat if poorly managed, current ADA president for medicine and science Richard M. Bergenstal, MD, tells WebMD.

"Even modest weight loss and increases in activity can keep people with prediabetes from developing the disease," he says.

Recent studies suggest that overweight people who lose just 5% to 10% of their body weight and exercise as little as 30 minutes a day, a minimum of five days a week, can reduce their diabetes risk by close to 60%, Buse says.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
kenneth fujioka, md
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Middle aged person
jennie brand miller

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
type 2 diabetes
food fitness planner