What is HbA1c Test? Who Needs it and Why?

How to Test for HbA1c?

Blood Sugar Control with HbA1c Test

Keeping your blood sugar levels in check is crucial for overall health, especially if you have diabetes or are at risk of developing it. One of the most effective ways to monitor your blood sugar control is through the HbA1c test.

This video blog post delves into the HbA1c test, explaining what it is, how it works, and who should get tested. We'll also explore the role of healthcare nt sickcare in providing convenient and reliable HbA1c testing services.

What is HbA1c Test?

The HbA1c test, also known as the hemoglobin A1c test, measures the percentage of your red blood cells that have glucose (sugar) attached to them. Over time, glucose binds to hemoglobin, providing a snapshot of your average blood sugar levels over the past 2–3 months.

  • Glycated hemoglobin: reflects average blood sugar over 3 months
  • As RBCs circle in blood, sugar attaches to hemoglobin protein forming HbA1c

How Does the HbA1c Test Work?

Red blood cells have a protein called hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout your body. When glucose levels are high, it attaches to hemoglobin. The HbA1c test measures the percentage of red blood cells with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c).

  • Gestational diabetes: Pregnant women who develop gestational diabetes also need an HbA1c test. This test helps assess blood sugar control during pregnancy and ensures the well-being of both the mother and the baby.
  • Pre-diabetes: If you have been diagnosed with pre-diabetes, an HbA1c test can help determine if your blood sugar levels are progressing towards diabetes. It serves as a valuable tool for early intervention and lifestyle modifications to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes.
  • Assessing treatment effectiveness: For individuals already undergoing treatment for diabetes, an HbA1c test is crucial for assessing the effectiveness of the treatment plan. It provides insights into how well the current treatment is working and helps make necessary adjustments to achieve optimal blood sugar control.

How to Test for HbA1c?

HbA1c, or hemoglobin A1c, is a blood test that measures the average levels of blood sugar (glucose) over the past 2-3 months. It is commonly used to diagnose and monitor diabetes. Here's how the HbA1c test is performed:

  1. Blood sample collection
  • A small amount of blood is drawn from a vein, usually in the arm, by a phlebotomist or healthcare professional.
  • The blood sample is collected in a vial or tube.
  1. Processing the sample
  • The blood sample is sent to a medical laboratory for analysis.
  • At the lab, a process called high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) or another approved method is used to measure the percentage of hemoglobin molecules in the blood that have glucose attached.
  1. Interpreting the results
  • The HbA1c test measures the amount of glycated hemoglobin in the blood, which is an indicator of the average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months.
  • The results are typically reported as a percentage or in units of mmol/mol.
  • A higher percentage or mmol/mol value indicates higher average blood sugar levels.
  1. Understanding the normal range
  • For people without diabetes, the normal range for HbA1c is typically between 4% and 5.6%.
  • For people with diabetes, the target HbA1c level may vary based on individual factors and treatment goals, but generally:
    • Below 7% is considered well-controlled diabetes
    • Between 7% and 8% may require adjustments in treatment
    • Above 8% indicates poorly controlled diabetes

No special preparation is usually required for an HbA1c test, although it's best to discuss any medications or conditions with the healthcare provider. The HbA1c test is an important tool for diagnosing, monitoring, and managing diabetes, as it provides valuable information about long-term blood sugar control.

What Do HbA1c Test Results Mean?

HbA1c results are reported as a percentage. Here's a general interpretation:

  • Below 5.7%: Normal blood sugar control
  • 5.7% to 6.4%: Prediabetes
  • 6.5% and above: Diabetes

It's important to note that these are general guidelines, and your doctor will interpret your results based on your individual health history and risk factors.

Who Needs a HbA1c Test?

When it comes to managing diabetes, knowledge is power. One important tool in the arsenal of diabetes management is the HbA1c test. But who exactly needs this test? Let's explore.

The HbA1c test is recommended for:

  • People with diabetes: To monitor their blood sugar control and adjust treatment plans as needed.
  • Those at high diabetes risk
  • People with prediabetes: To track their progress and prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • People at high risk for diabetes: This includes individuals with a family history of diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.
  • After gestational diabetes.

Benefits of HbA1c Test Testing

The HbA1c test, also known as the glycated hemoglobin test, measures the average blood sugar levels over the past two to three months. It provides valuable information about a person's long-term blood sugar control.

Diabetes Screening and Diagnosis

  •  Used to both detect and monitor diabetes
  •  No need for overnight fasting

Long-term Glucose Management

  •  Assesses if current treatment is effectively controlling sugar
  •  Guides medication adjustments

Watch our team simplify what the HbA1c test is, how it monitors glucose levels over months, and when you should test your HbA1c based on diabetes risk and age.

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Book Your HbA1c Test with healthcare nt sickcare

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, whether it's type 1 or type 2, you definitely need an HbA1c test. This test helps you and your healthcare team monitor your blood sugar control and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

At healthcare nt sickcare, we understand the importance of convenient and reliable medical testing for diabetes management. We offer:

  • NABL-accredited external laboratory: Ensures accurate and trustworthy results.
  • Easy online booking: Schedule your test at your convenience through our website.
  • Home sample collection: Available for orders above ₹999.
  • Fast turnaround time: Receive your results within 6 to 48 hours.
  • Experienced healthcare professionals: Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best possible care.

Even if you don't have diabetes, an HbA1c test can be beneficial for monitoring your blood sugar control. If you have risk factors for diabetes, such as obesity, family history, or a sedentary lifestyle, your doctor may recommend periodic HbA1c tests to catch any potential issues early on.

healthcare nt sickcare offers accurate HbA1c tests using D-10 IA Bio-Rad machines and integrated analytics. Book your diabetes profile today!

What is an HbA1c test?

An HbA1c test measures the average blood sugar levels over the past 2-3 months by looking at the amount of sugar attached to hemoglobin in red blood cells. It gives an overview of glucose control.

Who should have this test?

Getting an HbA1c test is recommended for those with diabetes to monitor treatment effectiveness and for those at high risk of diabetes to screen for prediabetes or undiagnosed diabetes.

How often should the test be done?

For diabetics, HbA1c testing should be done 2–4 times per year to assess if glucose levels are being managed properly through medication, diet and lifestyle.

What HbA1c level is considered prediabetes?

Prediabetes is indicated by an HbA1c between 5.7% and 6.4%. This signals early intervention is needed to prevent progression to diabetes, which is diagnosed at 6.5% and above.

Does everyone need this test regularly?

Annual HbA1c testing is suggested starting at age 45, or earlier/more often for overweight individuals or those with other diabetes risk factors.

Get Your HbA1c Test Today

The HbA1c test is an essential tool for managing diabetes and assessing blood sugar control. Whether you have diabetes, pre-diabetes, or risk factors for diabetes, this test can provide valuable information about your long-term blood sugar levels. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine if an HbA1c test is appropriate for you.

Call us today at +91 9766060629 or visit our website to search diabetes test to book your HbA1c test!


The HbA1c test is a valuable tool for monitoring blood sugar control and managing diabetes. If you have any questions about the HbA1c test or whether you should get tested, talk to your doctor. healthcare nt sickcare is here to support you with your healthcare needs, offering convenient and reliable HbA1c testing services.

Remember, taking control of your health is in your hands. Schedule your HbA1c test at healthcare nt sickcare today and take a step towards a healthier future!

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