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January 9, 2005

A1c (Glycohemoglobin, HgbA1c)

Question from Nova Scotia, Canada:

I have a Freestyle glucometer which gives a 14-day average of the readings taken. My present average is 7.3 mmol/L [131 mg/dl]. I have not yet had an A1c. Can the readings on the glucometer be used to estimate, roughly, how I might do on the A1c, which I will have done later this month?

Answer:

Not really. The A1c is a two month average of your blood sugars all day and all night, even when you are not checking your sugar. About half of it is considered before meals and about half is after meals. Your blood checks on your meter are whenever you actually do a check, so the 14-day average is an average of the checks you actually do, not the average of your sugars all the time. It is good to compare your A1c result to your meter checks. If your A1c is higher than your corresponding average in your meter, then you are not testing at times that you are high and need to try testing at different times.

JS