Imperial Collage Healthcare

Glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c)

Test Background
Glycation of proteins is the weighted mean proportional to the mean glucose concentration over the lifespan of the red blood cell.

Clinical Indications
Diagnosis and monitoring of treatment of diabetes mellitus.

Reference Range

20-41 mmol/mol haemoglobin

Sample Required
EDTA (lavender top)

Sample Volume
1 mL

Turnaround Time
2 days


HbA1c is accepted for the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in the UK, but should not be used to diagnose type 1 diabetes or in the following contexts; childhood, pregnancy, renal failure, haemoglobinopathy trait, anaemia, HIV, abnormal red cell turnover, or any recent drug treatment likely to affect glycaemia or red-cell turnover.

Type 2 diabetes diagnosis WHO: ≥48 mmol/mol with second indicator (either symptomatic or laboratory).

Type 2 diabetes mellitus NICE CG66 treatment target 48-­59 mmol/mol.
Type 1 DM: NICE CG15 treatment target HbA1c ≤59 mmol/mol without frequent disabling hypoglycaemia; consider ≤48 mmol/mol where there is high arterial risk.

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