This forms a small proportion of the total HAEMOGLOBIN in the blood. It diﬀers from the major component, HbA, in that it has a glucose group attached. The rate of synthesis of HbA1c is a function of the blood-glucose concentration, and since it accumulates throughout the life span of the red blood cell – normally 120 days – the concentration of HbA1c is related to the mean blood-glucose concentration over the past 3–4 months. It is thus a useful indicator of medium-term diabetic control (see DIABETES MELLITUS) – a good target range would be a concentration of 5–8 per cent. When interpreting the HbA1c level, however, it is important to remember that wide ﬂuctuations in blood-glucose concentration, together with ANAEMIA or a reduced ERYTHROCYTES life span, may give misleading results.
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