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Most complications of all types of polycythemia occur as a result of increased blood viscosity (hyperviscosity) or sudden blood loss (hemorrhage). Hyperviscosity may lead to throm-boembolic events, such as organ thromboses or splenomegaly. Hemorrhage in any system can occur from platelet dysfunction. Hemorrhage and vasculitis may occur together because an excessive number of RBCs exert pressure on capillary walls. Specific complications include gangrene of the fingers and toes, hypertension, peptic ulcer disease, and cerebrovascular accident. Life expectancy for patients with polycythemia if it is left untreated is roughly 2 years.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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