This is a companion article to the feature “Diabetes Diagnosis and Monitoring.”
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has established target blood glucose levels for diabetic patients, as measured with an HbA1c test.1 The recommended target levels are individualized based on the following factors related to a patient’s age and health.

  • Duration of diabetes.
  • Age and life expectancy.
  • Comorbid conditions.
  • Known cardiovascular disease or advanced microvascular complications.
  • Hypoglycemia unawareness.
  • Individual patient considerations.

For most nonpregnant adults with diabetes, ADA recommends the following targets for HbA1c. However, more or less stringent glycemic goals may be appropriate for each individual.

  • HbA1C: less than 7%.
  • HbA1C may also be reported as average glucose (eAG): less than 154 mg/dL.
  • Before a meal (preprandial plasma glucose): 80–130 mg/dL.
  • 1–2 hours after the beginning of a meal (postprandial plasma glucose): Less than 180 mg/dL.


  1. Checking your blood glucose [online]. Arlington, Va: American Diabetes Association, 2018. Available at: Accessed April 22, 2019.