An A1C test measures the average blood sugar level over the last two to three months. The higher the A1C, the greater the risk of complications with diabetes. Your doctor will decide how often you need to have an A1C test. Typically, you should have this test twice a year or more. The amount of time between your tests will depend on the level of your diabetes.
A1C below 6.5 percent is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The ADA recommendations cite the ACCORD study, which enrolled participants with at least one CVD risk factor and diabetes for at least 10 years. Participants who received intensive therapy had a higher composite mortality rate than the standard-treatment group. Nevertheless, these risks were minimized when the patients completed the study. The standard-treatment group had an A1C target of 7%-8%. After 3.5 years, the intensive therapy group stopped receiving treatment.
The A1C test is easy to administer and does not require fasting. It can be performed on an empty stomach or after eating. To obtain the most accurate results, make sure the laboratory uses a method that has been certified by the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP).
It is important to remember that the A1C is a measure of the average blood sugar level over three months. While a higher A1C is better than a lower one, the goal is still not to have diabetes. It is important to remain focused on improving your health and your lifestyle. You may want to try engaging in an activity you enjoy – a physical activity or a hobby.