What is the best A1c?
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.