The A1C Test
Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
275 East Main Street
Frankfort, KY 40621
The A1C Test: The Best Test For Blood Sugar Control
To control your diabetes, you must know your blood sugar numbers.
The A1C test is the best test to tell if your blood sugar is under control.
The A1C test (used to be called Hemoglobin A1C) is a simple lab test that shows the average amount of sugar that has been in your blood over the last 2 to 3 months. Your health care provider does the test by taking a small sample of your blood and sending it to a lab.
The A1C test is the best test for your health care provider to tell if your blood sugar is under control. This test shows if your blood sugar is close to normal or too high.
The A1C goal for people with diabetes is less than 7 percent. If your test result is less than 7 percent, your treatment plan is probably working and it is likely that your blood sugar is under good control.
A high A1C is one that is greater than 8 percent. A high test result means that you have a greater chance of getting eye disease, kidney disease, or nerve damage. If your test result is greater than 8 percent, you may need to work with your health care provider to change your treatment plan.
Ask your health care provider for an A1C test at least two times a year. Get the test more often if your blood sugar stays too high or if your health care provider makes any change in your treatment plan.
For more information on the finger-stick test and the A1C test, refer to the National Diabetes Education Program's brochure If You Have Diabetes, Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers.