What Should Your A1C Be If You're Over 65?

The key measure of diabetes control is hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). For healthy people over 65 with a long life expectancy, the goal should be 7.0 — 7.5%. BMI is a measure that compares weight with height. If you know those numbers, you can calculate your own BMI.

A person over 1.80 m with a BMI of around 27.5 would weigh 180 pounds and would be classified as overweight, but would have the longest life expectancy. The researchers used a measure of blood sugar levels over time, hemoglobin A1C. Prediabetes is indicated with A1C levels of 5.7 to 6.4% or a fasting plasma glucose reading of 100 to 125 milligrams per deciliter, depending on the diabetes association. This glucose test evaluates blood glucose after a person hasn't eaten anything for at least eight hours.Meanwhile, Libby Christianson, 63, of Sun City, Arizona, began walking more regularly and eating more protein after learning last summer that her A1C level was 5.7%.

Nearly three-quarters qualified as prediabetic, based on their A1C or fasting blood glucose levels. A study conducted in Japan showed that lower levels of HbA1c (a measure of average glucose control over the previous 2 or 3 months) were actually related to an increased risk of frailty in older adults. Jacobi didn't do much to lower his blood sugar level, and he has gained a few kilos during the pandemic, and his A1C has also dropped to normal levels.Nancy Selvin, who found out last year that her A1C level had risen from 5.9% to 6.3%, said she has been trying to lose 6 pounds without success since getting the results of those tests. A recent analysis of 3,412 people in that group who were 71 years old or older revealed that people who had prediabetes (depending on FPG or A1c levels) at the start of this analysis were more likely to remain in this intermediate state of prediabetes or to return to normal glucose values instead of progressing to diabetes, after a 6.5-year follow-up period.

According to the CDC study, 2.8% of prediabetic older people with A1C levels of 5.7 to 5.9% develop diabetes every year. A much larger group, 13 percent of those with high A1C levels and 44 percent of those with pre-diabetic fasting blood glucose, saw their readings return to normal blood sugar levels.It's important to note that the ARIC study didn't use all of the diabetes and prediabetes tests explained above; it only used FPG and A1C levels. A third test for diagnosing diabetes and prediabetes is the measurement of glycohemoglobin (A1c) in the blood.For elderly individuals with a long life expectancy, it is important to maintain an optimal HbA1c level between 7.0 and 7.5%. This can be achieved by making lifestyle changes such as increasing physical activity and eating a balanced diet rich in protein and low in carbohydrates.

Rex Saulino
Rex Saulino

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