Hemoglobin A1c Levels

In order to see how well your diabetes is controlled, we will measure your hemoglobin A1c. This test involves looking at sugar chains that have attached to your red blood cells. Measuring these chains allows us to see average blood sugar values over recent months. It is usually performed every three months because that is how long red blood cells live in our bodies.

In 1993, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial was published. This was a large study that looked at the effects of blood sugar control and its effects on the development of complications. This study found that maintaining hemoglobin A1c levels as close to normal as possible, there was less risk of developing complications from diabetes.

This is a rough guideline of what average blood sugar each percentile of hemoglobin A1c is equal to:

Hemoglobin A1c

Average Blood Sugar (mg/dL)
6
120
7
150
8
180
9
210
10
240
11
270
12
300

Our goal will be to normalize your hemoglobin A1c as much as possible while avoiding too many low blood sugars. We generally have a target of a hemoglobin A1c around 7%, but your provider will discuss the individualized goals that are best for you.