What is the best A1c?

Patty Bonsignore


Two large studies have been done to try and answer this question. One study involved people with type 1 and was called the Diabetes Complications and Control Trial (DCCT). The other study looked at people with type 2 and was called the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS). Both studies found that keeping the A1C level less than 7 % greatly reduced the risk of complications to the eyes, kidneys and nerves. Recently, some additional studies have been conducted to see if keeping the A1C at near normal (6.0%) would help even further. The patients in these studies had diabetes an average of 9 to 10 years. Tightly controlling the A1C to near normal levels did not help these patients. In fact, one of the studies called the ACCORD study showed keeping the A1C that low may actually have increased mortality. The researchers do not know why this is the case, but they think it might have something to do with an increase in low blood glucose reactions in the tightly controlled group. The goal for A1C is to keep it less than 7 %. You can aim for less than 6.5 % as long as you are healthy and not having a lot of low blood glucose reactions. However, if you already have complications from your diabetes, such as heart disease or other significant health problems, your A1C goal should probably be higher than 7 %. It’s a good question to ask your doctor , as he or she can advise you based on your particular situation.

4 replies

pilipinas 76
pilipinas 76 2016-10-13 12:12:58 -0500 Report

hello, i' need a diabetes recipe, i' order the free diabetes book recipe when can i get it . and i' have a hard time picking the right breakfast, lunch, and dinner.. oh yeah i' have diabetes 2 I' have this since 2008 and i' am 63 year old weight 112 last A1C is 7.1 my doctor said' i' need to be on diet. don't you think.. [ I' am pilipino ] is too much dieting for me. sometimes there is a day, I' am so hungry. please help me

lorider70 2013-02-11 12:25:31 -0600 Report

I am 69yrs old; type II since 1989. My last A1C in December 2012 was 6.8. My Dr. said this was fine. Now if could ease the neuropathy and gain a little weight, regain some strength, I would be a happy camper. As it is my knees/legs have gotten weak to the point of using a cane, and leg/lower back pain continue. All that's being done for that is Tramadol; which doesn't help the weakness.

TooFarNorth 2012-05-21 18:35:56 -0500 Report

So must be you do not have complications otherwise or that would be an A1C that is far too low. The article seems to indicate that too low can contribute to mortality. I am trying to understand all these findings.

JSJB 2012-05-05 04:49:20 -0500 Report

My last blood test was great my a1c was 5.6. It was hard work but was worth it.