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Having your blood glucose checked: HbA1c

Having your blood glucose checked: HbA1c

The HbA1c blood test reflects your average blood glucose level over the last 2 to 3 months. Keeping your HbA1c level as close to normal as possible is an important part of managing diabetes. Your diabetes care team should discuss this with you, and together you should agree a personal HbA1c target to aim for.

Your HbA1c should be tested every 3 to 6 months. It might be done more often if your blood glucose levels are changing quickly. You should be told your HbA1c result after each test.

The HbA1c result is given in a unit of measurement that is written as 'mmol/mol'. HbA1c used to be given as a percentage (%), so you may still see this.

The HbA1c target for most people with type 1 diabetes is 48 mmol/mol (or 6.5%) or lower, but your doctor might suggest a different target for you. You should be offered treatment and support to help you reach and stay at your HbA1c target.

Questions to ask about HbA1c

  • What does HbA1c show about my blood glucose?

  • How, where and how often will it be tested?

  • What HbA1c target should I aim for?

  • What if I'm having problems meeting my target?

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