A1C is an average measure of your blood sugar over the past 3 months. The results show how well your blood sugar levels have been controlled. The higher your blood sugars have been, the higher your A1C results will be.

Why is A1C important?

Your A1C serves as an important measurement of how well you manage your diabetes. Achieving your target A1C means a lower risk of damage to your eyes, kidneys, and nerves during your lifetime.

How is A1C measured?

It is measured by taking a small amount of blood and putting it into a device that reads your A1C in just a few minutes. You can eat and drink before the test and you will be able to continue your usual activities afterwards.

How does A1C compare to blood sugar readings?

An A1C of 7 percent equals an estimated average blood sugar of about 150 milligrams per deciliter. Here is a table that tells you how an A1C reading typically relates to the average blood sugar reading on your glucose meter:

What is the A1C target?

Your A1C target is very individual to your health needs and is decided by your doctor. Some people’s A1C target will be less than 7, but others may be slightly higher or lower. The Iowa Diabetes Portal uses A1C targets chosen by the American Diabetes Association, which highlights the importance of personalized goals. That’s why we allow users to pick their own targets based on their doctor’s recommendation!

How often should A1C be tested?

Your A1C should be checked at least twice a year if your blood sugar is stable, or as often as every 3 months if your A1C is not stable.

Here are some Iowa Diabetes Portal A1C success stories!

  • A patient whose A1C went from an 8.2% to 6.7% told us, “I never thought I could get under such good control and I’m determined to keep it under good control. It has changed my life.
  • One user, Jean, says she lowered her A1C from 7.6 to 6.9!
    Whoo-hoo!!!!” – Jean
  • More great news from a portal user:
    This program has slowed me down to pay attention to the things necessary to control my diabetes. My A1C reduced from 7.5-6.5.” – Dave S
  • Another portal user raves about the accuracy he experienced: “Just returned from diabetes checkup, your 5.7 A1C estimate was exactly what [my doctor’s] blood test confirmed (5.7).” – Greg S
Summary Your A1C is a very important measurement of how your blood sugars have been over the past few months. It plays a key role in managing your diabetes. The better your blood sugar numbers, the better your A1C!

Disclaimer: Any information provided is not intended as medical advice. Iowa Diabetes is not responsible for any information from third parties.