What are A1C test benefits? A1C test helps best understand diabetes treatment, manage diabetes better and prevent diabetes complications.
A1C Tests Benefits
In addition to blood-glucose test, A1C test has numerous benefits, which help diabetes individuals to efficiently achieving their target.
- Check self-testing results - A1C tests help, how correctly you are doing self-monitoring. Even many errors in your home glucose test became known and help you to correct it (value for your money, time and efforts).
- Assess diabetes treatment - how well it is going on, help confirm whether the on-going treatment regimen is suiting you or need any modification. If your A1C result is not within the target, then you may need to change for more effective diabetes treatment.
- Fix healthy choices - A1C not only helps assess your diabetes medication; additionally, help to assess other lifestyle changes you have just adopted.
- Improve diabetes treatment - once you have achieved your target a1c, then you can try for more stringent targets and improvise your treatment plan to achieve it.
- Avoid diabetes complications - achieving good A1C range will stop various diabetes complications such as nerve damage, eye problems, oral problems, heart attack, sexual dysfunction, and depression.
- Diagnose pre-diabetes & diabetes – a1c test can be an useful tool for early diagnosis of pre-diabetes, and diabetes. Additionally, if your a1c is not in a healthy range, then you can change your lifestyle to stop its progression towards pre-diabetes and later to diabetes.
A1C test to diagnose pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes
International organization recommends A1C test as one of the tests to diagnose pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes. A1C test provides mean value of blood-glucose levels of last three months.
The blood-glucose test only provides a glucose level at that instead based on what you have ate on past hours, stress level, sleep quality, and any illness. That may cause a false high or low blood-sugar level.
You know diabetes type 2 develops slowly for months, during this period your blood-glucose level may fluctuate largely, and you may miss out the high level. A1C shows the 3-month average, thus it helps early diagnosis of diabetes.
Still, impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose tests are important test for diabetes diagnosis. Because, a1c has some drawbacks due to anemia or other conditions causing false, low and high in some individuals.
An A1C percentage is useful in diagnosis of diabetes, the result range and its meaning is; optimal 4.1-4.6%, sub-optimal 4.7-5.1%, normal 5.2-5.6%, pre-diabetes 5.7-6.4%, diabetes 6.5% & over.
Many studies confirm the importance of A1C test to avoid diabetes complications.
A1C test is a well-established way to determine your historical glycemic control. A1C has a strong relationship with the blood-glucose level; increase in glucose level will reflect in an increase in A1C.
The link between A1C levels and the risk towards diabetes complications in diabetes patients (both type 1 & 2) is established by some of the popular studies, such as:
- The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) Study Findings; Intensive blood-glucose control reduces the risk of eye disease by 76%, kidney disease by 50%, and nerve disease by 60%. In participants who had some eye damage at the beginning of the study, tight management slowed the progression of the disease by 54 percent.
- The United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) data showed a continuous relationship between the risks of micro vascular complications and glycemia, such that for every percentage point decrease in HbAlc (e.g., 9 to 8%), there was a 35% reduction in the risk of complications.
- Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) Study Findings: Intensive blood-glucose control reduces the risk of any cardiovascular disease events by 42%, nonfatal heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular causes by 57%.
- Norfolk cohort of European Prospective Investigation of Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Norfolk) Study shows that those people with a 6% (considered normal) compared to those with a 5%, had a 28% increase in cardiovascular death.