Hemoglobin (cont.)

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What does a high hemoglobin level mean?

Higher than normal hemoglobin levels can be seen in people living at high altitudes and in people who smoke. Dehydration produces a falsely high hemoglobin measurement which disappears when proper fluid balance is restored.

Some other infrequent causes are high hemoglobin levels are:

  • Advanced lung disease (for example, emphysema)
  • Certain tumors
  • A disorder of the bone marrow known as polycythemia rubra vera, and
  • Abuse of the drug erythropoietin (Epogen) by athletes for blood doping purposes (increasing the amount of oxygen available to the body by chemically raising the production of red blood cells).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/11/2014

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