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Hematocrit Blood Test (cont.)

What does a high hematocrit mean?

A high hematocrit means the percentage of red blood cells in a person's blood is above the upper limits of normal (see above) for that person's age, sex, or specific condition (for example, pregnancy or high altitude living). Causes of a high hematocrit include:

  • Dehydration (heat exhaustion, no available source of fluids)
  • Low availability of oxygen (smoking, high altitude, pulmonary fibrosis)
  • Genetic (congenital heart diseases)
  • Erythrocytosis (over-production of red blood cells by the bone marrow or polycythemia vera)
  • Cor pulmonale (COPD, chronic sleep apnea, pulmonary embolisms)
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2014

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