Is The A1C More Relevant in Month One, Two, or Three?

Published on January 10, 2018

What percent of your A1c is in the first, second or third month of the calculated number? Is it weighted so that it is more relevant to month 1, 2, or 3?

Q: What percent of your A1c is in the first, second or third month of the calculated number? Is it weighted so that it is more relevant to month 1, 2, or 3?

Your hemoglobin A1c value reflects the amount of sugar that has attached itself to the hemoglobin in your red blood cells. For example, an A1C of 5% indicates that 5% of the hemoglobin in your red blood cells is bound to sugar.

Since red blood cells live for about three months, the A1c value approximates your average level of blood sugar over a three-month period.  However, since newer red blood cells are continually added as older ones die off,  blood sugar levels in the third month—especially the final two weeks—have a far greater impact on your A1C value than blood sugar levels in the first two months.

Moreover, some people have red blood cells that live longer or shorter than three months, which can also affect the A1C value.

Answered By dLife Expert: Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Certified diabetes educator and registered dietitian living in Southern California.

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