Hemoglobin A1c Test Make an Appointment Refer a Patient Ask a Question Reviewed by Dthia Kalkwarf (January 01, 2014) The Hemoglobin A1c test tells the doctor and patient the average blood sugar level over the last 3 months. A person without diabetes A1c less than or equal to 5.6% Pre-Diabetes A1c 5.7 to 6.4% Diabetes A1C equal to or greater than 6.5% Healthy level for a person with diabetes A1c less than 7.0% What Causes A1c Levels to be high? High average blood sugars over the past 3 months may be from: Overweight/obesity or weight gain Too many carbohydrates from foods and drinks Not getting enough exercise Not taking diabetes medicines as prescribed Diabetes medicines need to be adjusted or changed Illness Stress Addition of medications, i.e.prednisone How Can My A1c Be Lowered to a Healthy Level? Lose 5-10% of your body weight, if overweight or obese Limit how many carbohydrates you eat and drink Be physically active 30 – 60 minutes at least 5 days a week, such as brisk walking Take medications as prescribed by your doctor Your A1c level should be drawn every 3 – 6 months to best understand your overall blood sugar control. Your diabetes educator(s) can help you to balance diet, encourage exercise, understand medications, and help you cope with stress to improve your A1C level and manage your diabetes. Clinical Trials For more than 100 years, National Jewish Health has been committed to finding new treatments and cures for diseases. Search our clinical trials.