Blood Glucose

HbA1c (Glycated haemoglobin) and fructosamine

At least once a year, your doctor should check your long-term diabetes control by taking a blood sample from your arm.


The most common test is the HbA1c test, which indicates your blood glucose levels for the previous two to three months. The HbA1c measures the amount of glucose that is being carried by the red blood cells in the body.

HbA1c targets

For most adults with diabetes, the HbA1c target is below 48 mmol/mol, since evidence shows that this can reduce the risk of developing complications, such as nerve damage, eye disease, kidney disease and heart disease. Individuals at risk of severe hypoglycaemia should aim for an HbA1c of less than 58 mmol/mol. However, any reduction in HbA1c levels (and therefore, any improvement in control), is still considered to have beneficial effects on the onset and progression of complications.

HbA1c results

You will now be getting used to seeing your HbA1c results reported using the IFCC (International Federation of Clinical Chemistry) reference measurement procedure of mmol/mol.  Some results are still quoted as a percentage; the table below is a guide for conversion purposes.

(%) –  (mmol/mol)

6.0 – 42

6.5  – 48

7.0 –  53