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June 18, 2003

A1c (Glycohemoglobin, HgbA1c)

Question from Raleigh, North Carolina, USA:

I know that typically an A1c less than 6.0% is considered to be normal (nondiabetic), depending on the laboratory, but a range of 4.0-6.0% sees to cover a pretty wide variation in blood sugar averages. If a normal, healthy person who does not have diabetes had his or her A1c tested, what would it likely be? What is a normal average blood sugar in someone who does not have diabetes?


From: DTeam Staff

Hemoglobin A1c figures are not a direct reflection of the blood glucose but rather of the amount of glucose that gets bonded to hemoglobin, thus an indirect index of blood sugar but not a linear one. Many well adults with well-controlled diabetes can have levels of 4.5% without being hypoglycemic.

Normal fasting blood glucose levels vary with stress, exercise, where the sample is taken from, any delay in reaching the laboratory and to some extent on methodology. Values ranging 70-100 mg/dl [3.9-5.6 mmol/L] would generally be accepted as normal.