How Your A1C Relates to Your Daily Blood Sugar Readings

Your self-tests with a blood sugar meter and the A1C test are different. Self-testing with a blood sugar meter shows your blood sugar at the time of the test. The A1C test shows an estimate of your blood sugar control over a longer period of time, ie, 2 to 3 months. You need both self-testing with a blood sugar meter and A1C tests to help you and your health care provider understand if your treatment plan is working and whether your blood sugar is controlled.

The A1C test shows the average level of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months. It is reported as a percentage (%).

Another way to express the A1C test result is called estimated average glucose, or eAG.

The chart below shows how A1C percentages compare to eAG values. eAG reports blood sugar results in the same units, mg/dL, as the blood sugar meter that you use at home.

Comparing A1C to eAG
A1C, %
Value of:
= eAG, mg/dL
Value of:
12 298
11.5 283
11 269
10.5 255
10 240
9.5 226
9 212
8.5 197
8 183
7.5 169
7 154
6.5 140
6 126

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that many (nonpregnant) adults with diabetes should have an A1C goal of 7% or less. An A1C goal for some people may need to be higher or lower. Ask your health care provider what is the right goal for you.

How do you control blood sugar?

A main goal of managing diabetes is to keep your blood sugar under control. It may help reduce the risk of developing other health problems.

You can help control your blood sugar levels by:

  • Making healthy food choices
  • Being physically active
  • Checking blood sugar levels and keeping track of them
  • Taking medicine (when prescribed) to lower blood sugar

Your health care provider will tell you when and how to check your blood sugar at home.


Be sure to discuss your blood sugar targets with your health care team.

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