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What is the hemoglobin A1c test?
Hemoglobin A1c or glycosylated hemoglobin is a rough indication of blood sugar control in people with diabetes mellitus over the preceding 3 months. As more glucose (blood sugar) circulates in the blood on a daily basis, more glucose is bound to the circulating hemoglobin. Normal hemoglobin A1c levels range between 4% to 5.9%. As this number reaches 6% or greater, it signifies poorer diabetes control.
A hemoglobin A1c of 6% roughly correlates with an average blood sugar level of 135 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliters) over the previous 3 months. Each 1% increase in hemoglobin A1c above 6% represents an average blood sugar of approximately 35 mg/dL over 135 mg/dL. For example, a hemoglobin A1c measurement of 7% corresponds to an average blood sugar level of 170 mg/dL in the previous 3 months.
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