A hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) test measures the amount of blood sugar (glucose) attached to hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. An HbA1c test shows what the average amount of glucose attached to hemoglobin has been over the past three months. It's a three-month average because that's typically how long a red blood cell lives.
If your HbA1c levels are high, it may be a sign of diabetes , a chronic condition that can cause serious health problems , including heart disease , kidney disease , and nerve damage .
Other names: HbA1c, A1c, glycohemoglobin, glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin