The glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) test provides you with a long-term measure of your blood glucose levels (BGLs) over the past 10 to 12 weeks.
By measuring HbA1c, your healthcare team can get an overall picture of how well your diabetes has been managed in the past few weeks or months. A high HbA1c reading can indicate you are at a higher risk of developing diabetes complications.
HbA1c does not show the everyday highs and lows that you will see as you monitor you BGLs, so it can’t be used for everyday problem-solving. It is, however, a valuable tool that can be used to assess the impact of diabetes on your long-term health.
What should my HbA1c be?
The goal for most people with diabetes will be in a range of 6.5 to 7% (or 48–53mmol/mol). However, your doctor will discuss and set a range that is safe and appropriate for you.
How often should I have this test?
This test should be arranged by your doctor every three to six months.
What does this test involve?
This is a simple blood test.
See also our blog post on HbA1c versus self monitoring.