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A1C test goals

For a person who doesn't have diabetes, about 5% of the hemoglobin A1C molecules have blood sugar attached to them. That would correlate to A1C test results of 5%.1

For people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends A1C test results of less than 7%,1 while the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists suggests 6.5% or lower.2

However, without proper treatment, people with diabetes can have A1C blood test results that are much higher than that.

Benefits of lowering your A1C test result

Now for the good news—for every point you lower your A1C test results, you can significantly reduce the risk of long-term diabetes complications such as nerve damage, vision loss, kidney disease and cardiovascular problems. Even if you already have some complications from diabetes, lowering your A1C may help reduce the symptoms or reverse the severity of the problem.3

The results of the Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT) showed just how much you can reduce your risk.

Diabetes complication
Eye disease
Kidney disease
Nerve damage
Cardiovascular disease
Reduced risk3


If your A1C blood test result is higher than recommended, it's important to take steps to improve control. Talk to your healthcare team for suggestions and support.

A1C test and calculator

Structured testing

1 American Diabetes Association. A1C test. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/blood-glucose-control/a1c/. Accessed November 14, 2011.
2 Katznelson L, Atkinson JLD, Cook DM, Ezzat SZ, Hamrahian AH, Miller KK. American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists medical guidelines for clinical practice for the diagnosis and treatment of acromegaly—2011 update. Endocrine Practice. 2011;17(4). Available at: https://www.aace.com/sites/default/files/AcromegalyGuidelines.pdf. Accessed January 3, 2012.
3 National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. DCCT and EDIC: the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial and follow-up study. Available at: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/control/#DCCT. Accessed January 3, 2012.

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Related to the heart and blood vessels.

Diabetes Control and Complications Trial. A study of intensive vs. standard glycemic control in people with type 1 diabetes. The DCCT is the source of many of the recommendations made for treating type 1 diabetes.*


(American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2009 [position statement]. Diabetes Care. 2009;32(1): S13-S61. Available at: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/reprint/32/Supplement_1/S13. Accessed March 2, 2009.