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Can Sleep Apnea Cause Elevated Hemoglobin

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How To Find A Way To Get A Sleep Study And Appropriate Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Hematology Elevated Hemoglobin: By Karima Khamisa M.D.

What can you possibly do to know whether you need to find a way to get a sleep study and appropriate treatment, like CPAP, to prevent a series of health problems in your forties, fifties, and sixties? It turns out that your doctor is probably already giving you the test that points you in the right direction.

Every complete blood count measures hemoglobin and red blood cell count . If:

  • you know you snore or have some other sleep breathing problem and
  • your have high hemoglobin levels and a higher than normal red blood cell count,

then it’s highly likely you also have obstructive sleep apnea. Your body is working hard to compensate for it in many ways, but blood is easy to test.

Or at the very least the test costs maybe $20, rather than $10,000, and it is a good start maybe you still need the sleep study which includes much more in-depth testing, but you’ll be going into it with more information. Ask your doctor about your blood test results. And get sleep apnea treated as soon as you can if you do have it.

When To Talk To Your Doctor

If you have symptoms of sleep apnea, anxiety, or both, talk to your doctor about getting a referral for a specialist. Consider talking to your doctor if you have any of the following signs or symptoms:

  • Dread or anxiety about falling or staying asleep
  • Not feeling rested even after a full night of sleep
  • Trouble staying awake or concentrating during the day
  • Intrusive thoughts or worries, especially before you go to sleep
  • Nightmares or night terrors

The Impact Of Hemoglobin Upswing On The Incidence Of Sas

The mean follow-up period of the 245,744 individuals included was 1285 days. Among them, 6,536 individuals had hemoglobin upswing . Smoking was more prevalent in the upswing group . There was no significant difference in age, BMI, and abdominal circumference between the two groups .

Table 1 Individuals baseline characteristics according to hemoglobin upswing

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What Is Relative Polycythemia

In some forms of secondary polycythemia, the hemoglobin or red blood cell count is perceived to be abnormally high due to an increased concentration of blood. This can happen as a result of plasma volume loss from dehydration, severe vomiting or diarrhea, or excessive sweating. Polycythemia in these situations may be called relative polycythemia, because the actual numbers of red blood cells are not abnormal.

What Is The Treatment Of A High Blood Cell Count

How to Oxygenate Your Blood

The mainstay of therapy for polycythemia vera remains phlebotomy . The goal of phlebotomy is to keep the hematocrit around 45% in men and 42% in women. Initially, it may be necessary to do phlebotomy every 2 to 3 days and remove 250 to 500 milliliters of blood each session. Once the goal is reached, maintenance phlebotomy can be performed less frequently.

A commonly recommended medication for the treatment of polycythemia is called hydroxyurea . This is especially advised in people at risk of clot formation. At age greater than 70, having both an elevated platelet count greater than 1.5 million and cardiovascular disease makes the use of hydroxyurea more favorable. Hydroxyurea is also recommended in patients who are unable to tolerate phlebotomy. Hydroxyurea can lower all elevated blood counts , whereas phlebotomy only lowers the HCT.

Aspirin has also been used in treating polycythemia to lower the risk of clotting events. Its use is generally avoided in those people with any bleeding history. Aspirin is usually used in conjunction with phlebotomy.

  • Treatment of secondary polycythemia depends on its cause.
  • Supplemental oxygen can be provided for individuals with chronic hypoxia.
  • Other therapies can be directed toward treating the cause of polycythemia .
  • Treatments for primary polycythemia play an important role in improving the outcome of the disease.

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Common Causes Of High Hemoglobin Levels

Anemia or low hemoglobin levels and low red blood cell count is a problem we hear of quite often. But some people face an issue thats quite the opposite. Elevated levels of hemoglobin or hematocrit can cause you to feel faint, impair your vision, and leave you with other problems like an enlarged spleen. Knowing the causes can help you find the right treatment and fix the problem as soon as possible.

How Anemia Relates To Sleep Apnea

Red blood cells carry oxygen to the lungs, but when their numbers are reduced they start to struggle. When the lungs dont receive enough oxygen, hypoxia or the lack of oxygen occurs. When the body lacks oxygen it can perform its normal functions, resulting in fatigue, headaches, heart disease, and more, much like sleep apnea.

The severity of sleep apnea is measured by your AHI or apnea-hypopnea index. It represents that amount of apnea or hypopnea events that occur per hour. Hypopnea is shallow breathing that causes oxygen in the blood to drop. An apnea occurs when your body stops breathing for at least 10 seconds.

Also, the lack of vitamin D, B12, and iron can cause insomnia. The lack of iron that leads to anemia often results in restless leg syndrome when your legs need movement to find relief. As a result, the body is unable to rest.

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Restless Legs Syndrome And Sleepiness

Restless legs syndrome is a disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and a strong urge to move them. RLS may also cause jerky leg movements every 20 to 30 seconds throughout the night. Sometimes RLS can affect other parts of the body, too.

RLS symptoms may occur or get worse while youâre at rest or sleeping. Because the symptoms are usually worse at night, they can greatly interrupt your sleep and lead to sleepiness when you need to be awake. RLS can be so bad, it is mistaken for insomnia.

Treatment for Restless Legs Syndrome

Moving your legs lessens RLS symptoms. These steps may also be enough to relieve symptoms of RLS:

  • Take iron or vitamin B12 or folate supplements if your doctor says your levels are low and recommends them.
  • Talk to your doctor about whether a medication or herbal remedy that youâre taking may be making symptoms worse. These could include medication that treats high blood pressure, nausea, colds, allergies, heart conditions, or depression.
  • Stay away from alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine.
  • Maintain a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and try relaxation techniques such as hot baths and massage.

If these steps are not enough, several types of medication are useful for treating the symptoms of restless legs syndrome or for inducing deep sleep. They include:

Overall Characteristics Of The Participants


In total, 605 participants were included in this study with an average age of 30.52 ± 7.21 years . The baseline characteristics of the study population are presented in Table 1. The mean BMI was 32.48 ± 6.07 kg/m2. No difference was observed between men and women in terms of BMI. Nearly one-quarter of men, but no women, were involved in active smoking. On average, the participants had severe OSA with a mean AHI of 19.70 . Although 450 participants were diagnosed with OSA, only 8.0% had polycythemiaHGB and 5.3% had polycythemiaHCT. The mean HGB and HCT values were in the clinically normal range in both genders. AHI, ODI, TS90, RBC count, HBG, and HCT were significantly higher, while mean SpO2 was significantly lower among men compared with women. The occurrence of polycythemia increased in men than in women .

Table 1 Baseline Clinical, Laboratory, and Polysomnographic Data of All Participants

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Current Research Indicates A Connection Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Hypertension

A 2018 article published by the Journal of Hypertension notes that the connection between obstructive sleep apnea and both acute and chronic increases in blood pressure is well-established by scientific literature.

While central sleep apnea is common in patients with advanced heart failure, these patients typically have low blood pressure. The relationship between central sleep apnea and hypertension, if there is any, is therefore currently unclear.

Blood Cancer Diseases Related To Rbc Count

Image: Shutterstock

There are a few types of blood cancers and each has a unique effect on the bloods RBC count. The three main types of blood cancers are leukemia, which impairs the production of platelets and red blood cells by the bone marrow, lymphoma which affects the white blood cells, and myeloma which prevents the normal production of antibodies.

Tip:Blood cancers affect the RBCs directly and cause abnormal counts.

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Nocturnal Hypoxemia Rather Than Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Associated With Decreased Red Blood Cell Deformability And Enhanced Hemolysis In Patients With Sickle Cell Disease

  • 1Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Biologie de la Motricité EA7424, Team Vascular Biology and Red Blood Cell , University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France
  • 2Laboratoire d’Excellence du Globule Rouge , PRES Sorbonne, Paris, France
  • 3Centre de Médecine du Sommeil et des Maladies Respiratoires, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôpital Croix Rousse, Lyon, France
  • 4Service d’Explorations Fonctionnelles Respiratoires-Médecine du sport et de l’activité physique, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • 5Service de Médecine Interne, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • 6Institut d’Hématologique et d’Oncologique Pédiatrique, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • 7Service de Réanimation Médicale, Hôpital Lyon Sud, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • 8Laboratoire de Biochimie et de Biologie Moléculaire, UF de Biochimie des Pathologies Erythrocytaires, Centre de Biologie et de Pathologie Est, Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
  • 9Centre de recherche en Neurosciences de Lyon, CNRS UMR 5292, INSERM U 1028, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France

Background: Although obstructive sleep apnea could act as a modulator of clinical severity in sickle cell disease , few studies focused on the associations between the two diseases.

Study Design and Methods: Forty-three homozygous SCD patients underwent a complete polysomnography recording followed by blood sampling.

Clinical Trial, identifier: NCT03753854.

Keeping Up With Pap Therapy

High Hemoglobin Levels: Seventeen Reasons Your Hemoglobin ...

PAP therapy for sleep apnea is generally safe and effective. However, 46% to 83% of people diagnosed with sleep apnea do not use their PAP device as prescribed. Using your device according to your healthcare providers instructions can help you reduce your risk of many sleep apnea-related health complications.

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Sleep Apnea Severity Linked To Glycated Hemoglobin Levels

Diabetes Care

— For adults without diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea severity is independently associated with impaired glucose metabolism, as measured by glycated hemoglobin levels, according to a study published online June 11 in Diabetes Care.

Pascaline Priou, M.D., of LUNAM University in Angers, France, and colleagues conducted a large cross-sectional study involving 1,599 patients with OSA. HbA1c levels were measured, and patients with diabetes, use of diabetes medications, or HbA1c levels 6.5 percent were excluded.

The researchers found that HbA1c levels increased with increasing OSA severity, as measured by the apnea-hypopnea index , with the percent of patients with HbA1c increasing from 10.8 to 34.2 percent for those with AHI values < 5 to 50, respectively. After adjusting for potential confounding factors, the odds ratios of a patient having an HbA1c level > 6.0 percent increased from 1.0 for AHI < 5 to 1.40 for AHI of 5 to < 15 to 1.8 for AHI of 15 to < 30 to 2.02 for AHI of 30 to < 50 to 2.96 for AHI of 50. Additionally, an independent association was found between increasing hypoxemia during sleep and the odds of an elevated HbA1c level.

“Among adults without known diabetes, increasing OSA severity is independently associated with impaired glucose metabolism, as assessed by higher HbA1c values, which may expose them to higher risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” the authors write.

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Treating Your Sleep Apnea Can Also Help Treat High Blood Pressure

As your breathing improves and your oxygen levels stabilize in response to treatment for sleep apnea, your blood pressure may also get better. While you should always speak with your doctor before adjusting your medications, some people are able to reduce their intake of blood pressure medications following treatment for sleep apnea.

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Should I Worry If My Hemoglobin Is High

Polycythemia, a rare blood disorder characterized by high levels of hemoglobin, can be indicative of high hemoglobin levels. In this way, the body makes too many red blood cells, which causes the blood to be thicker. clots, heart attacks, and strokes can result from this. In the absence of treatment, it can be fatal.

Circulatory And Cardiovascular Systems

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Explained Clearly – Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, Treatment

Sleep apnea has been linked to obesity and high blood pressure, which increase the strain on your heart. If you have apnea, youre more likely to have an abnormal heart rhythm such as atrial fibrillation, which could increase your risk of a stroke. Heart failure is also more common in people with sleep apnea.

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What Can Cause Elevated Hemoglobin

  • Adults with congenital heart disease.
  • Symptoms of COPD worsen as a result of exacerbation.
  • Is dehydration a problem??
  • An emphysema is a condition characterized by severe pain.
  • A heart failure is a condition in which the heart muscles are weak.
  • Cancer of the kidneys.
  • It is a type of polycythemia vera.
  • What Are The Risk Factors For Polycythemia

    Polycythemia risk factors

    • Hypoxia from long standing lung disease and smoking are common causes of polycythemia. Therefore, smoking can be a significant risk factor for polycythemia.
    • Chronic carbon monoxide exposure can also be a risk factor for polycythemia. Hemoglobin has a higher affinity for CO than for oxygen therefore, as it replaces oxygen in favor of CO, polycythemia may ensue to compensate for the low oxygen carried by hemoglobin.
    • Chronic carbon monoxide exposure is a risk factor for people working in underground tunnels or parking garages, cab drivers in highly polluted and congested cities, or workers in factories with exposure to engine exhaust.
    • People living at high altitudes may also be at risk of developing polycythemia due to low environmental oxygen levels.
    • People with genetic mutations and familial types of polycythemia and certain hemoglobin abnormalities also carry risk factors for this condition as mentioned in earlier sections.

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    Obstructive Sleep Apnea Severity Not Associated With Hematocrit Level Erythrocytosis

      Hematocrit levels and presence of erythrocytosis do not appear to be associated with obstructive sleep apnea as measured by the apnea-hypopnea index , according to research presented at SLEEP 2017, the 31st Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, held June 3-7 in Boston, Massachusetts.

      Researchers from the Department of Medicine at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, reviewed data of 1604 veterans who exhibited OSA based on the AHI. A prospective sleep questionnaire was used to record self-reported habits, demographics, medical comorbidities, and medication use. Laboratory information was obtained using an electronic medical record.

      Of the 1604 patients, 92% were male , with 48.2% having moderate-severe OSA. Only 7.4% of patients had a hematocrit 48%, with only 1.6% having clinical erythrocytosis.

      In a multivariate analysis testing the association between AHI and hematocrit, factors associated with higher hematocrit levels were as follows: awake hypoxemia , nocturnal hypoxemia , diabetes mellitus , and testosterone therapy .

      In addition, OSA, specifically severe OSA, was associated with nocturnal hypoxemia , but awake hypoxemia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were less predictive of nocturnal hypoxemia. However, only 8% of patients with moderate-severe OSA who had nocturnal hypoxemia had erythrocytosis.


      High Hematocrit Caused By Testosterone: What To Do

      How to Manage High Hematocrit Caused by Testosterone ...

      Since abnormally high hematocrit values can pose serious health problems, this article will analyze the correlation between testosterone therapy and high hematocrit. TRT, sleep apnea and smoking are contributing factors can cause high hematocrit which can increase cardiovascular risks if not properly managed. This article explains the basics of how to manage high hematocrit while using testosterone.

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      What Tests Confirm The Diagnosis Of Polycythemia

      Polycythemia diagnosis

      Polycythemia may be diagnosed incidentally on routine blood work. Hemoglobin, hematocrit, and red blood cell concentration are typically found on a complete blood count . Repeating the laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis is usually advised to rule out possible laboratory or drawing errors.

      More importantly, the cause of polycythemia needs to be determined. Medical history and physical examination are important components of the evaluation of polycythemia. The history usually includes questions about smoking history, living at high altitudes for extended periods, breathing difficulties, sleep disturbances, or chronic cough. Other parts of the history may focus on a prior diagnosis of lung disease, heart disease, kidney or liver cancer, bleeding or clotting problems.

      A complete physical examination — including the assessment of body habitus , vital signs, oxygen saturation, heart and lung exams, and evaluating for an enlarged spleen — is essential in the evaluation of people with polycythemia.

      Evidence of a long-standing low body oxygen level is an important clue in patients with polycythemia. Signs of long-standing hypoxia may include cyanosis , clubbing of the fingers , or pursed lip breathing. Redness of the palms and soles may be another sign of polycythemia.

      Polycythemia vera diagnosis

      What Home Remedies And Lifestyle Changes Treats A High Blood Cell Count

      In individuals with primary polycythemia, some simple measures can be taken at home to control potential symptoms and avoid possible complications.

      • It is important to stay well hydrated in order to avoid concentrating the blood even further by dehydration. In general, there are no restrictions in physical activity.
      • If a person has an enlarged spleen, contact sports may be avoided to prevent splenic injury and rupture.
      • It is best to avoid iron supplementation as this can promote more red blood cell production.

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