Is an A1C level of 6 good or bad?
You may be wondering if an A1C level of 6 is considered good or bad or if it's too high, too low, or normal.
According to the CDC, an A1C level of 6 would be considered prediabetes.
What is A1C?
A1C is also known as glycated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C, or HbA1c and is a form of hemoglobin linked to sugar. Using a blood test, an A1C test measures your average blood sugar levels over the past 3 months.
What is a good A1C level?
According to the CDC, a normal A1C level is below 5.7, a level of 5.7 to 6.4 indicates prediabetes, and a level of 6.5 or higher would indicate diabetes.
Within the 5.7 to 6.4 prediabetes range, the risk for developing type 2 diabetes goes up each time the number increases.
While levels below 4.0 are theoretically possible, they aren't common. Similarly, it would be extremely rare to have an A1C over 15.0.
More information about an A1C level of 6
An A1C level of 6 may be written on a lab report simply as 6 or 6%.
For those familiar with estimated average glucose, or eAG, A1C levels convert quite easily to mg/dl using the formula 28.7 x A1C – 46.7 = eAG mg/dl. This means an A1C of 6 would be equal to 126 mg/dl. Mg/dl is typically used in the United States and stands for miligrams per deciliter.
Similarly, you can convert A1C levels to mmol/l by using the formula (28.7 x A1C – 46.7) / 18 = eAG mmol/l. This means an A1C of 6 would be equal to 7 mmol/l. Mmol/l stands for millimoles per litre and is typically used in the United Kingdom.
You can view an exhaustive A1C conversion chart right on this website.
How do you measure A1C?
A1C is typically measured by a blood test, also called a blood glucose test, ordered by your doctor. Compared to traditional blood glucose tests, fasting is not required for A1C tests.
You can also measure A1C levels at home with digital A1C meters. To use one, you typically prick a finger with a lancet or fingerstick, add a drop of blood to a test strip, and insert the strip into the meter. While convenient, the reliability of readings from at-home A1C tests is debated.
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- All About Your A1C - CDC
- Glycated hemoglobin - Wikipedia
- Translating the A1C assay into estimated average glucose values - National Library of Medicine
- Measurement of Hemoglobin A1C: A new twist on the path to harmony - National Center for Biotechnology Information
The information on this page is intended to be an educational reference and is not to be taken as medical advice. If you think you're having a medical emergency, please call 911 immediately.