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An extremely useful form of diabetes testing, the Hemoglobin A1c test measures a person's average blood sugar control for the past two or three months.
The lifespan of a red blood cell is between three and four months. Since hemoglobin A1c is a result of high blood sugar, its presence on the red blood cells can indicate high blood sugar over the past few months.
This information can help diabetic patients make improvements to their treatment regimes by illustrating how well or how poorly they are controlling their blood sugar.
This is not a fasting blood test, so it requires no special preparation.