Red blood cells: the norm in women, children,reasons for high and low results, table byage

Update: December 2018


  • What are red blood cells?
  • Erythrocyte count normal
  • Red blood cell reduction
  • Erythrocyte elevation
  • Other characteristics of red blood cells
  • FAQ

Любое обследование крови не обходится без изучения red blood cells.
Abnormal red blood cells in the blood can reduce the quality
life, provoke the occurrence of infections and significantly worsen
prognosis for chronic pathologies (especially those affecting the heart).
This indicator should be monitored at least once a year.

What are red blood cells?

Red blood cells (red blood cells) perform not only
aesthetic function. They are approximately 1000 times larger than
other blood cells (lymphocytes, neutrophils, platelets, etc.) and
this distribution is not accidental. Less would be
not enough to perform their main task – transport
oxygen to all human tissues.

According to its structure, these are oval cells, concave on both sides, along
shaped like a regular donut. Virtually all space
inside them is filled with hemoglobin – a complex protein structure,
which binds oxygen and carbon dioxide. Circulating between
lungs and all other tissues by the flow of blood, these formations
allow each cell to fully “breathe”, producing an exchange
listed gases.

The creation of red blood cells occurs in the “red brain”, which
находится внутри костей organism. Their average lifespan is
almost half a year, after which they are destroyed in the spleen, and
hemoglobin residues are excreted along with feces and urine. Violation
the life cycle of red blood cells can lead to various disorders
due to which the process of cellular respiration becomes

Erythrocyte count normal

The level of red blood cells in a healthy person depends on the age
gender and individual characteristics. Up to 18 years old, the body of a child
constantly growing, his blood volume changes, which affects
content of blood cells. In women, after the period of sexual
ripening, a series of hormonal changes occur. One of their
results is a lower rate of red blood cells than in

For a more accurate assessment of the indicator, you should consider all these
nuances. Below are the indicators taken from a scientific journal.
�“Practical medicine” and publications of the independent monitoring fund
�”Health”. This data is recommended to use
врачи-клиницисты, при изучении анализа blood.

It should be remembered that in almost every laboratory there are
their average values, which are indicated on the form with

Age / body features Показатель у женщины, *1012 клеток/л. Показатель у мужчин, *1012 клеток/л.
Up to 3 days of life 4-5.3
4-7 days 3.9-5.1
8-14 days 3.6-4.9
1 month 3.0-4.2
2 months 2.7-3.8
3-6 month 3.1-3.8
6 месяцев –  до двух лет 3.7-4.5
2-6 years 3.9-4.6
7-12 years old 4.0-4.6
13-18 years old 4.1-4.6 4.5-4.9
Adults 3.7-4.7 4.5-5.5
Pregnant woman 3.4-5.6

Reasons for the decline

  • Acute or chronic blood loss. Acute occur during and
    after surgery, injuries. Chronic: with internal bleeding
    with peptic ulcer, gastrointestinal diseases, hemorrhoids, cancer
  • Iron deficiency, vitamin B12 or folic acid in foods
    nutrition or poor absorption of them;
  • Excessive fluid intake (intravenous
    infusions), the use of liquid in large quantities;
  • Rapid destruction of red blood cells due to hereditary diseases
    (sickle cell anemia) or transfusion errors,
    patients with an artificial heart valve and poisoning with poison,
    heavy metals;
  • With alcohol abuse, with bone marrow tumors or
    метастазах в нем снижается количество ретикулоцитов в blood.

Skin with hemolytic anemia

The most common decrease in red blood cells is due to anemia. Reduction
indicator below the normal red blood cells in women or men
almost always a manifestation of the disease. Healthy
human, their number should not decrease, even with severe
physical or emotional stress.

There are 4 types of anemia and 4 mechanisms of violations that lead
to this disease. For each of them developed special
therapeutic approaches that affect only one particular species
pathology, and do not affect the rest. Most
characteristic causes of red blood cell decline and their mechanisms of action
described below:

Anemia, characteristic causes How to affect the body?
Iron deficiency

  • TOровотечения, в том числе хронические  (при язвенной
    diseases, NSAIDs, gastropathy, nosebleeds, heavy
    menstruation, etc.);
  • Vegetarianism;
  • Peptic ulcer of the 12th persion or its absence (after
Iron is an important component of hemoglobin, without which it is impossible
oxygen transfer. Its excess loss or insufficient
admission inevitably leads to a decrease in the number
red blood cells.


  • Irrational food, excluding meat, fish and dairy
  • Any gastric pathology (gastritis, NPVS-gastropathy, ulcerative
    болезнь, состояние после удаления части желудка etc.).
Without these two vitamins it is impossible to create cells in the body.
Therefore, their lack leads to deviation from the norm
red blood cells.

Folic acid deficiency

  • A diet that excludes fresh vegetables / fruits;
  • Damage to the small intestine (duodenal ulcer, disease
    Crown, celiac disease, etc.);
  • Chronic pancreatitis;
  • Alcoholism;
  • Side effects of drugs (Methotrexate)


  • Hemolytic болезнь новорожденных (при повторном рождении
    резус-отрицательной матерью  резус-положительного
  • Side effects of drugs, such as: sulfanilamide
    antibiotics (Biseptol), cytostatics (Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine,
    Azathioprine, etc.), antitumor therapy;
  • Enlarged spleen (in case of liver cirrhosis, any cancerous
Hemolysis is the destruction of blood cells. More aggressive
this process takes place, the more symptoms bother
the patient.

In rare cases, find abnormal blood tests for
red blood cells can be in patients with kidney disease. The greatest
various glomerulonephritis, organ damage
in autoimmune diseases (lupus, scleroderma) and
glomerulosclerosis. This violation occurs due to a lack
renal hormone erythropoietin responsible for making red
blood cells.


The lack of oxygen in the tissues almost always affects
самочувствие the patient. To the most frequent manifestations of anemia

  • Constant weakness;
  • Fatigue;
  • Irritability;
  • Bouts of dizziness, headaches, or feelings
  • �”Lost” in the muscles.

With a slight decrease in oxygen levels, a person can
for a long time ignore these symptoms. Their severity
увеличивается, по мере уменьшения red blood cells. In severe cases,
the patient may experience fainting, heart murmurs and
signs of oxygen starvation of all tissues.

In addition to the listed symptoms that may accompany
various diseases (ARVI, bacterial infections, cancer
pathologies and others), there are specific manifestations of each
type of anemia. The presence of these signs allows not only
high probability of determining a decrease in the rate of red blood cells in
children or adults, but also suggest a possible reason for this

Characteristic symptoms Additional changes in analyzes

Iron deficiency

  • �”Perversion” of taste – people are attracted enough
    specific spices and smells (gasoline, diesel, paintwork
    products, etc.);
  • The appearance of brittle hair and nails;
  • Dry and peeling of the skin;
  • Constant thirst;
  • The appearance of the blue tinge of the sclera (visible white part
  • �”Zayedy” in the corners of the mouth.
Biochemical analysis:

  • Decrease in serum iron level less than 9 µmol / l;
  • Повышение железосвязывающей способности (ОЖСС)  более 66
    �mol / L;
  • Increasing the level of transferrin more than 3.8 g / l;
  • Reduction in ferritin levels of less than 10 μl.


A feeling of tingling or “crawling goose bumps” on the hands or

Large laboratories can measure vitamin levels.
В12 и фолиевой кислоты, но эти исследование достаточно
expensive (about 1000 rubles each).

Folic acid deficiency

There are no specific manifestations.


  • Icteric staining of the mucous membranes of the mouth, skin and sclera;
  • The appearance of pruritus;
  • Dark urine (dark beer color).
Biochemical analysis:

  • Increased bilirubin level more than 17 µmol / l.

Level up

Skin with erythrocytosis

An increase in red blood cells (erythrocytosis) is almost always
a sign of illness. In itself, a large number of cells does not affect
на самочувствие the patient. Often, the only manifestation of this
The condition is a reddish tint (blush on the cheeks) and
mucous membranes. All other symptoms that may disturb the patient
caused by the underlying disease.

Detection of increased red blood cell count – a reason to start
full examination of the body, in order to identify the causes of this
process. First of all, the doctor excludes the following pathologies,
affecting the level of blood cells:

Typical manifestations of pathology How does blood cell count affect?


Most распространенные причины этого состояния:

  • Repeated vomiting (more than 3-4 times a day);
  • Frequent and abundant loose stools (more than 7 times / day);
  • A large amount of urine released (more than 3-4 l / day) with sugar
    or diabetes mellitus, glomerulonephritis.

Symptoms of dehydration are dry skin and mucous membranes,
thirst, rapid weight loss (due to fluid loss) and general

Dehydration не влияет на количество клеток, но из-за потерь
воды происходит «сгущение» blood. For this reason, the clinical
analysis can show the presence of erythrocytosis.

Chronic Lung Disease

(COPD, severe bronchial asthma, condition after removal
lung, occupational diseases, etc.)

Each of these states has its own specific
signs, but some of the symptoms may occur with each of them. TO
These include shortness of breath on exertion / rest and asthma attacks.

Since the oxygen supply to the body is reduced, due to
insufficient work of the lungs, the body is trying to increase gas exchange
due to carrier cells. The more of them – the better they carry.
blood gases and faster tissue respiration.

Pickwick Syndrome

This is a violation of the respiratory center in the brain,
which occurs against the background of extreme obesity. For him very
The following clinic is characteristic:

  • Sudden re-sleep during the day (occur in
    mid wakefulness);
  • Dyspnea at rest;
  • Hypertension;
  • Spontaneous muscle twitching.

Congenital heart defects

(nonpartition of the interatrial or interventricular septum,
the presence of a large arteriovenous shunt)

These diseases can be detected not only in children, but also in
older age. Most often patients are concerned about:

  • �”Blue” hands or feet that occur during exercise;
  • Dyspnea;
  • The appearance of edema (usually on the legs).
The increase in the content of red blood cells is an attempt of the body
improve the delivery of oxygen to the organs. Due to constant reset
venous blood into the arterial, this process is disrupted as
causes the development of compensatory reactions.

Cushing’s disease / syndrome

The increase in the hormone hydrocortisol is the cause of the development of
all the symptoms of this pathology. This condition may occur when
brain tumors (hypothalamus) or adrenal lesions.

Suspected illness can be on the following grounds:

  • A very characteristic type of obesity is the patient’s arms and legs.
    remain thin, with excess fat on the body
    and face;
  • Any weight loss measures are ineffective (except for treatment
    causes of illness);
  • Constantly high blood sugar level;
  • Diseases of the stomach and duodenum 12 (gastritis, peptic ulcer
One of the actions of this hormone is the stimulation of bone activity.
brain, which leads to the occurrence of erythrocytosis in a patient.

Oncological diseases

blood (erythremia, Vaisez disease), kidney tumors, glands
endocrine secretion.

In most cases, there are no specific symptoms. The sick
may for a long time disturb weakness, a small fever (up to
38оС), снижение веса.

The proliferation of tumor tissue in the bone marrow leads to
significant (multiple) increase in the number
red blood cells.

Genetic disease

As a rule, additional signs of pathology are absent.

The reason for the increase in the pool of cells is a congenital disorder in
bone marrow work.

When prescribing steroid hormones for some diseases
erythrocytes may also increase in the blood. Or in situations where
a person lacks oxygen (high in the mountains).

If the person had bleeding or
anemia was treated, then reticulocytosis is positive
a sign, he points to the recovery of red blood cells in
blood. If there are no reasons for the growth of reticulocytes, then
contact a hematologist, because this may indicate availability
опухоли или наследственном заболевании blood.

If, after a thorough diagnosis, it is not possible to identify the cause
increase in the rate, most likely, this state is
individual feature of a person. Such cases are found
extremely rarely, therefore, before making an appropriate diagnosis
(idiopathic erythrocytosis) requires careful

Other characteristics of red blood cells

The classical method of studying the blood (using a microscope)
allows you to determine only the number of red blood cells and their speed
subsidence (ESR). Modern automatic analyzers
additionally able to assess the state of red blood cells and their
ability to transfer hemoglobin. These characteristics are also very
important for assessing the condition of a person, so they need
take into account when decoding the analysis.

As a rule, a blank with the result of research (it is similar to
ordinary cashier’s check) includes the following indicators:

What shows? What is the rate of red blood cells?


This is a sign of any inflammatory process that is actively
proceeds in the body. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate accelerates at
any infections, autoimmune diseases, injuries and exacerbations
chronic pathologies.

Up to 15 mm / hour


(The average size of red blood cells). Shows how
less / more red blood cells compared to normal. Allows
determine the type of anemia and the cause of its development:

  • With a vitamin deficiency an increase in size is observed;
  • With a lack of iron – the volume of Taurus decreases;
  • With hemolysis – most often the size remains within
80-96 мкм3 (или 86-99*10-15/л)


(The average amount of hemoglobin). Another indicator
allowing to diagnose the cause of red blood cell deficiency:

  • Decreases with iron deficiency;
  • Повышается при уменьшении количества витамина В12 и
    folic acid.
27-32 picogram


(How does red blood cells differ in size). Non-specific
characteristic, an increase in which indicates enhanced
making blood cells.



(Hematocrit). This is the ratio of the number of red blood cells and liquid
parts of blood (plasma). Hematocrit can reliably confirm
the presence of erythrocytosis or anemia.

  • For men, 0.41-0.52;
  • For women, 0.38-0.48.

Assessing all the listed characteristics, taking into account
the number of cells in the blood, it can be concluded about the state
organism. Despite the banality of this procedure – it is not worth it
neglect. The presence of most diseases affects these
indicators, so in the minimum standard of examination
обязательно включается анализ blood.


Вопрос: Могут ли увеличиваться эритроциты при
wrong preparation for the analysis?

Not. According to modern research, the fluctuation of red blood cells
extremely insignificant in a healthy person during the day.

Вопрос: Требуется ли подготовка к сдаче анализов?

For the greatest accuracy, the procedure should be carried out in the morning,
on an empty stomach, preliminarily excluding smoking, alcohol, sugar and
caffeinated beverages. These factors may affect
скорость ESR.

Вопрос: Насколько опасно повышение уровня кровяных
cell? Can this lead to any complications?

In most cases, elevated red blood cells are a sign of only
another disease. It occurs when the body is not
can cope with pathology in other ways. Appearance of it
conditions – a reason to evaluate the work of various organs to identify
the reasons.

Вопрос: TOак лучше сдавать кровь – из вены или из

Currently, clinicians recommend taking venous
blood for general analysis. On empirical experience it has been proven that
research results are more objective and

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