Decreased Hematocrit: Causes of Decreased Hemoglobin Levels

Question: What causes decreased hematocrit?

Hematocrit is measurement of the red blood cells in the blood. Hematocrit can be measured by taking a sample of blood and processed in a pathological laboratory.

Red blood cells carry oxygen to cells and tissues of the body. They are made up of hemoglobin which is a oxygen carrying molecule. Hemoglobin binds the iron and oxygen molecule which gives the red color to the blood cells.

Decreased hematocrit levels or hemoglobin may indicate anemia such as iron deficiency anemia.

Result of hematocrit is given in the percentage form in males, in females, in infants.

Normal values in male=42% to 52%., female=37%to 48%.

In pregnant women and in elderly the values of hematocrit are decreased. In new born value is increased.

Causes of Decreased Hematocrit

  • Anemia iron deficiency.
  • Bone marrow suppression.
  • Chronic infection
  • Overhydration ¬†and hemodilution.
  • Vitamin deficiency B1,B6, B12 and folic acid.
  • Rheumatic fever
  • Hodgkins disease
  • Leukemia
  • SLE(systemic lupus erythematosus) .
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Loss of blood in surgery and cancer.
  • Kidney failure.
  • Suppression by chemotherapy drugs.