Glycosylated Hemoglobin Test (Hemoglobin A1c)
Say: gly-koh-sih-lay-tid hee-muh-glow-bin test
This blood test can tell someone with diabetes if his or her diabetes is under
control or out of control. As a person's blood sugar gets higher, glucose attaches
to hemoglobin (a substance inside red blood cells that carries oxygen to cells). When
this happens, doctors say the hemoglobin has become glycosylated. The glucose remains
attached to the hemoglobin for the life of the red blood cell, or about 2 to 3 months.
This blood test measures the amount of glycosylated hemoglobin in the blood. In
other words, it's a way of figuring out what the person's average blood glucose level
was for the 2 to 3 months before the test. This can help determine how well a person's
diabetes is being controlled over time.