What should my target A1C or eAG be if I have diabetes?

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Yariela Enriquez, MD
Internal Medicine
A1C is a blood test that measures average blood glucose levels over a three-month period. People without diabetes have A1C levels under six. For people with diabetes, the goal is to be under seven and as close to six as possible. People with inadequate control may have A1C levels above 10 and may require insulin. The A1C level is usually determined by blood drawn in a doctor’s office and sent to a lab, but home test kits are now available at pharmacies.
 
A reasonable goal for most people with diabetes is an A1C of less than 7%, as the risk for kidney disease, eye disease, and other complications increases as A1C goes up. Researchers took patients’ A1C measurements in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial to see how well they were doing with overall control. The study subjects on intensive management lowered their A1C values dramatically -- even though they did not often reach their daily blood glucose goals. This improvement was seen after about 3-6 months of intensive management.
In addition to A1C, patients may also hear the term estimated average glucose (eAG). Estimated average glucose is a new way to report A1C results using the same units as your blood glucose meter (mg/dl). The American Diabetes Association’s target for results reported as eAG is 154 mg/dl.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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