Skip to content
Our Cambridge clinic is now open. Book now!
Our Cambridge clinic is now open. Book now!

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) - description and reference ranges

What is it?

Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) result is used to monitor average blood glucose levels (over the last 2 to 3 months). This can help with treatment and diagnosis in diabetes or identification of prediabetes.

Some of the glucose in your blood binds to haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is very important as it transports oxygen around the body, in the red blood cells. This binding of glucose and haemoglobin is called haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and is directly proportional to the average concentration of glucose in blood over the lifetime of red blood cells (2 to 3 months).

HbA1c below 6%: This is normal.

HbA1c 6% to 6.4%: This is pre-diabetes. You are at high risk of developing diabetes so now is the time to act by increasing activity levels and improving your diet. You should be tested at least annually for diabetes.

HbA1c over 6.4%: This is in the diabetic range. The test is usually repeated to confirm the diagnosis, but you are likely to need treatment for diabetes. This may simply be lifestyle measures but may also include tablets or injectable medication including insulin.

Reference ranges

If your indicative HbA1c concentration is lower than the reference range for our laboratory:

This generally implies that you do not have diabetes.

You can discuss this result with your GP.

If your indicative HbA1c is higher than the reference range for our laboratory:

If you have diabetes or your diabetes is not well managed, your blood glucose levels will be high, in turn causing higher HbA1c concentrations.

You can discuss this result with your GP.

Quick test finder

Quick test finder

Find what you need in under 30 seconds with our (very clever!) test finder. We offer a huge range of markers all a few clicks away, as well as fastest turnaround times.

Find your test

You might also like to read

  • Sunshine important for Vitamin D
    Dr. Adam Staten

    Vitamin D: Micronutrient, Mega Important

    Despite the widespread prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, it is easily overlooked. The symptoms of vitamin D deficiency, particularly if the deficiency is mild, are often vague and difficult to define. Frequently the feeling of malaise or lethargy that may be caused by low vitamin D levels are attributed to something else, or just blamed on the general stresses of life. This is a real shame because replacing vitamin D is very straightforward.
    Read now
  • Stroke signs to look out for
    Dr. Mike Forsythe

    Stroke: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

    A Cerebrovascular Event (CVA), or stroke, as it’s more commonly known, is a medical emergency. It occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is reduced or interrupted, depriving brain tissue of oxygen. This can result in brain...

    Read now