Hematocrit Blood Test Topic Guide
Hematocrit (Blood Test): A hematocrit blood test measures the portion of red blood cells in the blood. Normal values of hematocrit in the blood vary according to age, sex, pregnancy, altitude where a person lives, and vary slightly between testing methods. Causes of low hematocrit levels in the blood may be due to bleeding disorders, destruction of red blood cells, cancer, anemia, and overhydration. High hematocrit levels may be caused by dehydration, smoking, pulmonary conditions, COPD, sleep apnea, and polycythemia vera.
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Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition in which there is a long-lasting obstruction of the airways, and occurs with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and/or asthma. Causes of COPD include cigarette smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental tobacco smoke, Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, airway hyper-responsiveness, and air pollution. Symptoms of COPD include a productive cough and acute chest illness, shortness of breath, wheezing, heart failure, cyanosis, and weight loss. Treatment of COPD includes medications, oxygen therapy, surgery, and lung transplant.