Q. My red blood cell level is high. Please advise.

Answered by
Dr. Prakash H Muddegowda
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 04, 2015 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hello doctor,

My CBC test showed RBC level as 7.1. Doctors told me that this value is high. The MCV is 56.8 and MCH is 15.4 which are low. I used to smoke when I did the first test. When I went for the test again after 2 months, I had quit smoking. Even then the result was the same. Please advise.



Welcome to

I have gone through your CBC (Complete Blood Count) reports (attachment removed to protect patient identity)

Based on your query, my opinion is as follows:

  • Your RBC count is high and this condition is called as polycythemia.
  • Polycythemia is usually present in high altitude conditions, or in people with lung damage or smokers with lung damage.
  • Two months is a short time for the lungs to recover. That is the reason why the results remained the same even after two months after you had quit smoking.
  • However, additionally, you appear to have iron deficiency anemia.
  • Correction of iron deficiency is necessary and repeat test can be done after 3 months.
  • Reticulocyte count test after 15 days after start of treatment will confirm your body response to iron therapy. 
  • You need to quit smoking completely and also start iron therapy.

For further queries, consult a hematologist online -->

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