CDC: All about your A1C for diabetics and others at risk

The Center for Disease Control All about your A1C reviews what the A1C is, and the importance of checking and monitoring your A1C level.   This is relevant not only to diabetics but also to people of a certain age or with risk factors.

Drivers, if you are diagnosed with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and are taking medications or dieting alone, it is important to monitor your blood glucose (sugar) at home and to also see your doctor regularly to get a blood test called HgB A1C.   Unlike the fingerstick blood test you are doing at home that measures the daily changes in your blood sugar, the A1C test measures your average blood sugar level over the past 3 months.  Normal A1C is below 5.7%, prediabetes 5.7% to 6.4% and diabetes 6.5% and above.  We can also use the A1C level to measure your estimated average blood sugar level.  For example, an A1C of 7.0% represents an estimated average blood glucose of 154 mg/dl, and 10% represents a glucose of 240 mg/dl.

How does this affect my DOT physical?

When you come in for a DOT physical we will need the result of your last HgB A1C test (within last 3 months) in order to see if your blood sugar has been under control.  Most people with diabetes should have an A1C level of 7% or less.  An A1C level over 10% indicates poor blood sugar control and may disqualify you on the DOT physical.  You will have to see your treating doctor to review and modify your treatment regimen and will have to repeat the DOT physical.

If you forget to bring in the last A1C test to your DOT physical, we may place your examination on determination pending (See faqs-for-national-registry-driver-examination-forms_pg. 9  for determination pending status) until you provide us with the results-And if we also find a significant amount of glucose in your urine dipstick test, you may be disqualified.

So if you are a known diabetic, please have your A1C results with you.  If you forget to bring it have your doctor fax it to our office ASAP.

These two final points from the CDC article are important for people that are not diabetic. 

  • If you are not diabetic get a baseline A1C at age 45 or under the age of 45 if overweight.
  • If the A1C is normal and you are over the age of 45 and have certain risk factors such as gestational diabetes, obesity or a family history of diabetes repeat the A1C every 3 years.

About Randolph Rosarion M.D.

Board Certified physician in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Certified National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) Certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) USCIS designated Civil Surgeon Certified Examiner of Divers (Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society) FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

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