Advance with MUSC Health

On Target With A1c

August 03, 2022
Dr. Ribal Al Arindi

What is A1c?

Neatly arranged table with pills, stethoscope, coffee mug, blanket, small plant, and block that reads A1c on it.Hemoglobin A1c test is a blood test that measures your average blood sugar levels over the previous 2-3 months. Another name for the test is HbA1c, A1c, or glycosylated hemoglobin test. It is one of the commonly used tests to diagnose diabetes mellitus and prediabetes. Also, if you have diabetes mellitus, it is used to monitor how well your blood sugar levels are being managed. The higher the A1c level is, the poorer the blood sugar control and the greater the risk of developing diabetes complications.

What are the A1C Values?

An A1c value of 5.7-6.4% falls in the prediabetes range. An A1c of 6.5 % or higher using two separate tests indicates diabetes mellitus.

What are factors that can affect A1c test accuracy?

Some factors affecting accuracy are pregnancy, blood loss, blood transfusion, anemia, end-stage kidney disease, to name a few. In these situations, your doctor may look at your daily blood sugar readings to decide on treatment adjustment.

What is your target A1c level, and how often does it need to be checked?

Your doctor will decide on your target A1c based on your age, medical problems (co-morbidities), and low blood sugar history. If you have prediabetes, A1c is typically checked once a year. If you have controlled diabetes mellitus and you are not using insulin, A1c is checked on average every six months. If you have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, A1c is checked every three months to decide on a treatment adjustment.

Dr. Ribal Al Aridi is an endocrinologist who specializes in diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus and other hormonal diseases, adrenal disorders, thyroid diseases, osteoporosis and pituitary tumors. Dr. Al Aridi is accepting patients. For more information please call MUSC Health – Endocrinology in Florence at 843-679-4221 or visit