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February 8, 2001

A1c (Glycohemoglobin, HgbA1c)

Question from El Dorado Hills, California, USA:

My husband had a HbA1c test done in the hospital during a bout of extreme infection and a fever of 101-102 degrees. In addition, he was receiving intravenous antibiotics for the infection. Could these conditions have influenced the result of the HbA1c test? If not, what are the conditions that may influence this test?

Answer:

To my knowledge, the infection and treatments for the infection should not have influenced the test.

Anything that decreases the circulating time of red cells artificially lowers the hemoglobin A1c. There are also hemoglobin types which interfere with hemoglobin A1c test. Finally, even though infections in the short-term will increase your blood sugars, the HbA1c gives you a mean of the previous three months, so that there is not an overwhelming influence of the most recent blood sugar levels.

JTL