Hemoglobin A1C is a number that reflects your blood sugar average over the past 2–3 months.
Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cell.
A1C measures the amount of sugar that is attached to your hemoglobin and is reflected as a percentage.
Why over 2–3 months?
The average lifespan of a red blood cell is 2-3 months, so A1C measures glucose exposure over that time.
Why is this number so important?
The A1C test is a blood test used to diagnose diabetes and, until the introduction of CGM therapy, was the only way to assess how well someone was managing their blood sugars.
As well, most research and learnings about diabetes-related complications has been based on A1C, as this has been the standard measurement for so long.
What do the numbers mean?
A1C is roughly related to an average blood glucose value for the last 3 months. Below are estimated blood glucose averages to help put things in perspective.
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