What is the HbA1c value?

The blood sugar memory

The average blood glucose value of the last weeks

 

An important laboratory value in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes is the HbA1c value. It shows how well the blood sugar level was adjusted in the last few weeks and is therefore also called "long-term blood sugar" or "blood sugar memory".

Blood sugar levels in the body fluctuate at short notice throughout the day, which is exactly the same for people with or without diabetes. These fluctuations result from the amount and structure of sugar/carbohydrates in the diet, and also from the duration and intensity of exercise or stress. The measured blood sugar value is therefore always only a snapshot.

The HbA1c value is a long-term value and is therefore hardly affected by current fluctuations. It reflects the long-term blood glucose curve of the last few weeks and is therefore an orientation guide for individual blood glucose settings. A healthy lifestyle can lower the HbA1c value, which indicates a good metabolic situation.

Normally it is 4-6% and is directly dependent on blood sugar. With the HbA1c value, a statement can be made about the blood sugar level of the last 8 to 12 weeks. For an optimal therapy the HbA1c should always be below 7% to prevent possible consequential damage.


HbA1c equation:
Average blood sugar [mg/dl] = 33.3 x HbA1c [%] - 86

Since 1 April 2008, the HbA1c value is now (also) given in mmol/mol.
The conversion formula is: HbA1c [mmol/mol] = (HbA1c [%] - 2.15) x 10.929

 

Table of conversion
 

HbA1c
[mmol/mol]
HbA1c
[%]
Average
blood glucose
value [mg/dl]
 HbA1c
[mmol/mol]
HbA1c
[%]
Average
blood glucose
value [mg/dl]
375,5498 557,18153
385,63101 567,27156
395,72104 577,37159
405,81107 587,46162
415,90110 597,55165
425,99113 607,64168
436,08116 617,73171
446,18120 627,82174
456,37126 637,91177
466,36126 648,01181
476,45129 658,19187
486,54132 668,19187
496,63135 678,28190
506,72138 688,37193
516,82141 698,46196
526,91144 708,55199
537,00147 718,65202
547,09150 728,74205

 

Even with a good HbA1c value, you should regularly keep an eye on all your health parameters. Because the HbA1c is the average blood sugar value over a period of several weeks. This also means that even with a good HbA1c value, frequent short-term blood sugar fluctuations can cause long-term damage to the bloodstream and nerves. Therefore, in addition to a good HbA1c value, make sure to avoid strong blood sugar fluctuations as much as possible.