This is part 2 of the 2 part series on understanding your HbA1c levels and how important it is to test and manage correctly. Read Part 1 if you missed it.
What is eAG?
Your healthcare provider may report your HbA1c or A1C test result as eAG, or “average glucose,” which directly correlates to your A1C. eAG may help you understand your A1C value because eAG is a unit similar to what you see regularly through self-monitoring on your meter. A1C is reported as a percent (7% for example) and eAG uses the same units (mg/dl) as your glucose meters.
The American Diabetes Association suggests an A1C of 7%, which is an eAG of 154 mg/dl. A calculator for this conversion is available here
Do note that blood vessel damage begins at about 140 mg/dl. An A1C of 7.0 is just above that at 154 mg/dl, therefore a good target level is closer to an A1C of 6.0.
Conversions at a Glance
eAG (mg/dl) -126
eAG (mmol/l – 7.0)
eAG (mg/dl – 154)
eAG (mmol/l – 8.6)
eAG (mg/dl -183)
eAG (mmol/l – 10.1)
eAG (mg/dl – 212)
eAG (mmol/l – 11.8)
When Should Your HbA1c Level Be Tested?
How often HbA1c levels should be taken depends on your treatment objectives. For example, because this test looks at a 2 to 3 month period, new ideas, lifestyle changes, exercise or a new medicine will not be revealed on your new HbA1c for some weeks. That is why fingersticks and glucose monitors are helpful. So those immediate readings will reflect in your HbA1c after a while.
- This simple practice is considered best practice in HbA1c regularity.
- Once every 3 months if aiming for better control.
- Once every 6 months if good control achieved and maintained.
- While monitoring your HbA1c levels alone does not predict diabetes complications, good control is known to lower the risk of complication.
Other Considerations About HbA1c
The upside of good diabetes control is this – reducing your HbA1c level by just 1%, there is a reduction in cataract extractions by 19%, a decrease in heart failure by 16% and a 43% reduction in amputation or death due to peripheral vascular disease.
So taken together, while glucose levels do change all the time, checking your HbA1c levels changes very slowly over a 10 week period and is a more accurate method of determining blood sugar control.
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