Red blood cells contain a protein called haemoglobin that gives the red colour to the blood cells and carries oxygen. In addition, the haemoglobin binds to blood glucose when it builds up in the blood. The HbA1c test measures the amount of glucose bound with the haemoglobin. Also known as the glycated haemoglobin test, it gives longer-term blood glucose level unlike fasting blood glucose level test, which gives current glucose levels only.
Why is the test ordered?
The test is helpful in identifying individuals who are suffering from pre-diabetes. The HbA1c test is also helpful in screening and diagnosing diabetes in adults. People with diabetes should get tested to monitor their blood glucose levels and to reduce the complications associated with diabetes in the long-run.
When is the test ordered?
An HbA1c test may be ordered when an individual is suspected of having diabetes owing to these signs and symptoms:
- Increased appetite, thirst and urination
- Blurred vision
Overweight individuals with additional risk factors such as-
- A sedentary lifestyle
- High blood pressure
- A family history of diabetes
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Other disorders associated with insulin resistance may also be considered for testing.
How is the sample collected?
A blood sample is collected from a vein in the arm.
How to prepare for the test?
No test preparations are required.