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Hello, I'm a type 2 diagnosed 5 years ago and I'm still having problems understanding HbA1c scores and what they actually represent. HbA1c represents a 4 week average? I thought the tests were at least in some cases done every 3 months (90 days) for some patients but I know that some doctors recommend that a HbA1c test be done once a year. I've also seen that you could have a really high HbA1c and have relatively normal glucose levels and just the opposite. Can someone help me to understand this so I can better understand my own scores. Thanks for the info in advance. Thanks.

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Hello, The HbA1c test is a weighted average calculated from 90 to 120 days with the most recent 2 weeks carrying greater weight. HbA1c reaches a steady state in 4 to 12 weeks depending on whether you are a high or low glycator. So, there is quite a bit of variance in this test. So, don't compare your score to someone else's. Compare your score to your previous scores. That has meaning.

 

Red blood cells (RBCs) last about 120 days (4 months or less), however new cells are being added to the blood pool and there should be more newer ones than older ones with time. That's why HbA1c is weighted towards more recent levels. I believe HbA1c is made up of 70 percent preceding 4 weeks, 20 percent the four weeks prior to that and 10 percent the latter 4 weeks of a twelve week period.

 

In a non-diabetic, the formation, decomposition and destruction of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reaches a steady state with about 3 to 6.5 percent of the hemoglobin in the A1c type (glycated). Most diabetics have higher BG resulting in higher HbA1c levels. So, HbA1c scores can be used as an average BG level. It's still a little bit complicated in terms of what is actually there, nevertheless, HbA1c sores are good to use.

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