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Healtheuniversity > English > Diabetes College > Treat Diabetes > Your Healthy Targets > A1c (also known as HbA1c)

A1c (also known as HbA1c)

Your A1c tells the doctor how well you are controlling your diabetes.

A healthy target for A1c level is less than 7% (normal 4.1-5.5%).

A1c is a type of blood test. Remember, your A1c measures how well you managed your blood sugar over the past 3 months. The A1c test results are expressed in percent (%). The A1c test counts the number of blood cells with sugar attached to them. A normal A1c number is less than 7%.

Use a conversion chart to relate your A1c to your average blood sugar. Follow the three steps below.

  1. Find your A1c level from your blood work.
  2. Look for your A1c level in the conversion chart below.
  3. Follow the same row to the right to find your average blood sugar.

For example, 8% A1c means your average blood sugar is 11. 4 mmol/L.

What Your A1c Level Means

A1c (%)Average Blood Sugar (mmol/L)

A1c Conversion Chart. Find your A1c level from your blood work. Look for your A1c level in the first column of this chart. Follow that row across to find your average blood sugar.

Your A1c tells you and your doctor how well you managed your blood sugar over the past 3 months. Both you and your doctor can use your A1c to guide what changes you need to make to your diabetes medicines or to your lifestyle habits.

If your A1c is less than 7%, you are in the right range.

  • Continue doing all of your healthy behaviours.
  • Talk to your doctor to make sure this number is good for you. You may not feel well with an A1c number of less than 7%. Your doctor will change this number for you. 

If your A1c is more than 7%, talk to your doctor.

  • Discuss what you can do to lower your A1c. You may need to change your eating habits, exercise habits, stress (or depression) control or take your medicines.
  • Check your blood sugar more often. Your blood sugar shows if the changes you make lower your blood sugar. 
Last Reviewed: 11/17/2016