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Polycythemia (High Red Blood Cell Count) (cont.)

Polycythemia Risk Factors

Some of the risk factors for polycythemia include:

  • chronic hypoxia;
  • long-term cigarette smoking;
  • familial and genetic predisposition;
  • living in high altitudes;
  • long-term exposure to carbon monoxide (tunnel workers, car garage attendants, residents of highly polluted cities); and
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry (may have increased frequency of polycythemia vera due to genetic susceptibility).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/30/2014

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