Can you have a high A1C and not be diabetic?

If your blood sugar has ever surged up or you experience a regular surge in your sugar level, your doctor will probably recommend you to get an A1C test to see if you might have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

What is A1C and A1C test?

A1C or hemoglobin A1C Is a protein that resides in red blood cells and carries oxygen to the rest of your body. Moreover, since glucose is in your blood, these hemoglobins affix themselves to the glucose and become Haemoglobin AIC or HbA1C. When your sugar level surges, it means you have higher levels of hemoglobin AIC in your blood.

So, what do the doctors do in this regard? Well, most of the GPs recommend such patients to take the A1C test. An A1C test is a sugar level test that, over the last 3 months, measures the level of blood sugar levels in your blood. If the AIC test comes higher, it means you have a higher level of glucose or sugar in your blood. Typically, the sugar level should be less than 5.7%.

So, what if your test says you have a higher level of A1C but you do not have diabetes?

Yes, some conditions may raise the level of A1C in your blood, but that does not mean you have diabetes. According to a study by Elizabeth Selvin, a single elevated A1C level greater than 6% was found in the general population with no history of diabetes. Such adults may have compromised fasting glucose or other cardiovascular diseases. Other factors that contribute to higher levels of A1C in no-diabetic patients are:


A lack of iron, vitamin B12 can also falsely level up your A1C test results. This means your body is not making new blood cells, and older ones with glucose are floating around.

Kidney diseases and disorders:

Many kidney diseases usually lower the levels of vitamins and minerals, causing anemia, which may cause a rise in your A1C level. Uremia, a condition where the blood develops high Urea levels, can also falsely increase A1C level.

High Triglycerides

High levels of triglycerides (a fat in the blood that does not convert into calories and forms into triglycerides) may result in a spike in your A1C test result.

Spleen disorders:

Spleen’s primary function is to remove old blood cells from your bloodstream. When you go through splenectomy or other spleen disorder, i.e., sickle cell disease or asplenia, this function is lost, which means the old blood cells float around for a while resulting in a higher level of A1C.

Thyroid disorders:

Lower levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism) can also erroneously increase A1C levels.

Certain medications:

Certain medications and their long-term use (aspirin, opioids such as morphine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, and hydromorphone, among others) can also misleadingly increase A1C level.

Donated Blood:

Donated blood in your system can also give incorrect (higher or lower levels) of A1C results. According to a study by (Angelique et al.), blood donations can give incorrect readings and impact the level of hemoglobin in diabetic and non-diabetic patients, thus affecting the checking of diabetes.

Interestingly, your ethnicity can also affect your A1C result.

Everyone has a different type of hemoglobin, depending on their ethnicity. A1C test works best with type A hemoglobin. Hemoglobin variants such, C, D or E, can affect the precision of A1C as well (higher level or low levels).

It is crucial to note that the A1C test is not always accurate. Repeated checks can give higher or lower measurements for the same blood samples. Doctors rely on other tests as well called fructosamine blood tests. This test gives an extended-term assessment of your sugar level.

To view the list of factors that may cause a high A1C result, please click here.

Do you need more information on the Haemoglobin A1C blood test, please click here