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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Tests and Exams > Hemoglobin: Results and Values


Alternate Names : Serum Hemoglobin, Total Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin | Preparation & Expectations | Results and Values

What do the test results mean?

Age, sex, and other factors cause normal ranges for hemoglobin to vary. Generally, healthy test ranges are:

  • newborns - 14 to 24 grams of hemoglobin per deciliter of blood (g/dl)
  • children 6 months to 6 years -- 9.5-14 g/dl
  • children 6 to 18 years - 10 to 15.5 g/dl
  • men 18 or older - 14 to 18 g/dl
  • women 18 or older -12 to 16 g/dl
  • pregnant women -- at least 11 g/dl
  • Low values of hemoglobin generally mean that a person has a low red blood cell count, which is also called anemia. Anemia has many possible causes. Common causes include:

  • excessive menstrual bleeding in women
  • gastrointestinal bleeding, such as that from bleeding peptic ulcers and colon cancer
  • malnutrition
  • increased nutritional needs, which occurs during rapid growth periods of childhood and in pregnancy
  • inherited causes, such as sickle cell disease, a condition that causes abnormally shaped red blood cells
  • Increased hemoglobin levels can occur for several reasons. Common causes include:

  • dehydration, which causes a temporary increase in hemoglobin that goes away once someone becomes re-hydrated
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, such as emphysema, which is usually due to smoking cigarettes
  • blood cancer, such as a cancer called polycythemia vera
  • Depending on the results of this test and the suspected cause of the results, the healthcare provider may suggest a treatment or further tests.

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    Hemoglobin: Preparation & Expectations


    Author: Francesca Coltrera, BA
    Reviewer: Adam Brochert, MD
    Date Reviewed: 09/24/01

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