The American Diabetes Association (ADA) emphasizes in its guidelines that diabetes treatment plans and blood sugar goals should be tailored to each patient. But it considers the following hemoglobin A1c test targets to be a reasonable guide for older individuals:
- If you are healthy and have few coexisting chronic illnesses, the optimum A1c goal should be less than 7.5 percent.
- If you have other chronic illnesses, cognitive impairment, or limited functional ability, the appropriate goal may be less stringent (8.0–8.5 percent, for example).
- If you are in poor health—for example, you are frail and can’t care for yourself—your goal can be more lenient, such as simply below 8.5 percent.
This article first appeared in the January 2020 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.