HbA1c stands for Hemoglobin A1c, which is a blood test that measures the average level of glucose (sugar) in the blood over the past 2-3 months. Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body, and glucose can bind to it. When glucose levels are high, more glucose binds to hemoglobin, leading to an increased level of HbA1c.
The HbA1c test is commonly used to monitor blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, as it gives an indication of how well their diabetes is being managed over time. A higher HbA1c level indicates poorer blood sugar control and an increased risk of diabetes-related complications, while a lower HbA1c level indicates better blood sugar control and a reduced risk of complications.
The normal range for HbA1c is usually less than 5.7% for people without diabetes, and less than 7% for people with diabetes. However, the target range may vary depending on individual circumstances and treatment goals.