Gender Ethnicracial And Life Span Considerations

The incidence of primary polycythemia is the highest in middle-aged and older European American men, with a median onset age of 60. It is rare in children except in those with cyanotic heart disease. Babies who are small for their gestational age and infants of diabetic mothers may also be at risk.


HISTORY AND PHYSICAL EXAMINATION. The history, symptoms, and clinical findings vary slightly with the three types of polycythemia and degree of increased blood viscosity. A thorough family, environmental, and occupational history is necessary. Many patients with polycythemia have a history of cardiac and pulmonary disease, particularly emphysema.

PSYCHOSOCIAL. Assess the effects of a chronic illness on the patient and family; if the patient does not get enough rest or relaxation, suggest lifestyle changes that might decrease stress. Heavy smokers may acquire certain hemoglobin abnormalities that can lead to secondary polycythemia.

Diagnostic Highlights


Normal Result

Abnormality with Condition


Bone marrow

Normal bone marrow

Hypercellular bone mar

Thin needle is used to draw up



row with residual fat;

small amount of liquid bone mar

Your Heart and Nutrition

Your Heart and Nutrition

Prevention is better than a cure. Learn how to cherish your heart by taking the necessary means to keep it pumping healthily and steadily through your life.

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