Red Blood Cell Count - Normal, High, Low

The reference range of red blood cell count(RBC) is:

Conventional Units

Men: 4.5-5.9 x 106/microliter

Women: 4.5-5.1 x 106 microliter

SI Units

Men: 4.5-5.9 x 1012/L

Women: 4.1-5.1 x 1012/L

A low value is known as anemia, it can indicate:

  • Acute or chronic bleeding
  • RBC destruction (e.g., hemolytic anemia, etc.)
  • Nutritional deficiency (e.g., iron deficiency, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency)
  • Bone marrow disorders or damage
  • Chronic inflammatory disease
  • Chronic kidney disease

A high value is known as polycythemia, it an indicate:

  • Dehydration
  • Lung (pulmonary) disease
  • Kidney or other tumor that produces excess erythropoietin
  • Smoking
  • Living at high altitude
  • Genetic causes (altered oxygen sensing, abnormality in hemoglobin oxygen release)
  • Polycythemia vera—a rare disease
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.