This page helps you to understand blood test results for Hemoglobin and gives you the reference range to determine if your lab test results mean that you have a high, low or normal Hemoglobin.
We outline the risk factors associated with both raised cholesterol and lower Hemoglobin levels.
Reference Ranges for Hemoglobin in men (please sign up to see ranges for women):
|US Conventional Units||g/dl||13-17.5||<13.5 or > 17.5|
|Standard International Units||g/dl||13-17.5||<13.5 or > 17.5|
What is Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin is the iron-containing protein found in all red blood cells (RBCs) that gives the cells their characteristic red color.
The hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin in a person’s sample of blood. A hemoglobin level can be performed alone or with a hematocrit, a test that measures the proportion of blood that is made up of RBCs, to quickly evaluate an individual’s red blood cells .
Since a hemoglobin test is often performed as part of a complete blood count (CBC), results from other components are taken into consideration.
Function of Hemoglobin
Hemoglobin enables RBCs to bind to oxygen in the lungs and carry it to tissues and organs throughout the body. It also helps transport a small portion of carbon dioxide, a product of cell metabolism, from tissues and organs to the lungs, where it is exhaled .
Risk factors associated with Hemoglobin
Several diseases and conditions can affect RBCs and consequently the level of haemoglobin and haematocrit in the blood.
In general, the hemoglobin level and hematocrit rise when the number of red blood cells increases. The hemoglobin level and hematocrit fall to less than normal when there is a drop in production of RBCs by the bone marrow, an increase in the destruction of RBCs, or if blood is lost due to bleeding. A drop in the RBC count, hemoglobin and hematocrit can result in anemia, a condition in which tissues and organs in the body do not get enough oxygen, causing fatigue and weakness. If too many RBCs are produced, polycythemia results and the blood can become thickened, causing sluggish blood flow and related problems .
Notable variations by demographic group
- Males tend to have higher concentrations of red blood cells, higher haemoglobin and haematocrit, and there are separate reference ranges for males and females.
- In pregnancy, there is an increase in plasma volume of the blood in order to help supply oxygen and nutrients to mother and baby and therefore Women who are pregnant commonly have lower results for red cell count, hemoglobin and haematocrit.