HbA1c test

Find reliable independent health and treatment information about HbA1c tests written by Australian experts. This includes resources for consumers and health professionals.

About HbA1c tests

The HbA1c test (also called the glycated haemoglobin test) measures average glucose levels in the blood over the past 3 months.

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For health professionals  

Early and accurate diagnosis of diabetes ensures effective management and reduces the risk of diabetes-associated complications.1,2 However, the HbA1c test should not be used as a screening tool. Currently the recommended method for the diagnosis of diabetes is a fasting blood glucose test followed by an oral glucose tolerance test, if required.3,4 Accurately measuring blood glucose levels of has various practical issues. Using a HbA1c test may overcome many of the practical issues that affect the blood glucose tests as it measures chronic glycaemia rather than immediate (on examination) blood glucose levels.2

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Consolidate your knowledge on type 2 diabetes, brush-up on current guidelines and practices and earn CPD points through our learning activities.

For your patients

Use the following tools and resources with your patients.

Clinical information

Quality use of medical tests means choosing the right test for the patient and using it at the right time. We have compiled some of the latest evidence and guidelines on HbA1c testing to help you discuss the relevance of this test with your patients.

  1. Intensive blood-glucose control with sulphonylureas or insulin compared with conventional treatment and risk of complications in patients with type 2 diabetes (UKPDS 33). UK Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) Group. Lancet 1998;352:837–53. [PubMed]
  2. d'Emden MC, Shaw JE, Colman PG, et al. The role of HbA1c in the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus in Australia. Med J Aust 2012;197:220–1. [PubMed]
  3. Diabetes Australia. Diabetes management in general practice. Diabetes Australia and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2012. [Online] (accessed 30 November 2012).
  4. Guidelines for preventive activities in general practice (The Red Book) 8th Edition. Melbourne: Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, 2012. [Online] (accessed 8 January 2013).

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