English 4 MIN READ 330 VIEWS April 25, 2024

Haemoglobin Levels: What’s Considered Normal?

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Haemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells that enables the blood to carry oxygen to tissues throughout the body. Normal haemoglobin levels vary depending on several individual factors. Having high or low levels can indicate certain medical conditions, such as heart and kidney diseases.

In this blog, we will learn more about the normal haemoglobin levels of both males and females. We will also categorise normal haemoglobin levels by age to better understand its range for all. 

What is Haemoglobin?

Haemoglobin, sometimes abbreviated as Hgb or Hb, is a protein in red blood cells that carries iron. This iron holds oxygen, making haemoglobin an essential component of your blood. When your blood doesn’t contain enough haemoglobin, your cells don’t receive enough oxygen.

Doctors determine your haemoglobin level by analysing a sample of your blood. A variety of factors affect your normal haemoglobin levels, including your:

  • age
  • gender
  • medical history

What’s a Normal Haemoglobin Level in Adults?

In adults, the average haemoglobin level is slightly higher for men than it is for women. It’s measured in grams per deciliter (g/dL) of blood. Given below are haemoglobin normal range male as well as normal haemoglobin level in female: 

SexNormal haemoglobin levels (g/dL)
Female12 or higher
Male13 or higher

Healthy adult haemoglobin normal range male ranges from 13.8 to 17.2 grams per deciliter (g/dL), while normal haemoglobin level in female typically range from 12.1 to 15.1 g/dL.

Additionally, older persons typically have decreased haemoglobin levels. There could be several reasons for this, including:

  • reduced iron levels caused by long-term inflammation
  • side effects of medicines
  • high rates of chronic conditions like kidney problems

Normal Haemoglobin Levels by Age in Children

Infants tend to have higher average haemoglobin levels than adults. This is because the wombs contain higher oxygen concentrations, requiring more red blood cells to carry. However, this amount begins to decline after a few weeks.

AgeFemale range (g/dL)Male range (g/dL)
0–30 days13.4–19.913.4–19.9
31–60 days10.7–17.110.7–17.1
2–3 months9.0–14.19.0–14.1
3–6 months9.5–14.19.5–14.1
6–12 months11.3–14.111.3–14.1
1–5 years10.9–15.010.9–15.0
5–11 years11.9–15.011.9–15.0
11–18 years11.9–15.012.7–17.7

What causes High Haemoglobin Levels?

High haemoglobin levels generally accompany high red blood cell counts. Remember that red blood cells contain haemoglobin; hence, the more red blood cells you have, the greater your haemoglobin level, and vice versa.

A high haemoglobin level and red blood cell count might suggest several things, such as:

  • Congenital cardiac problems: Your heart may find it difficult to adequately circulate blood throughout your body and distribute oxygen due to this problem. Your body occasionally generates more red blood cells in response.
  • Dehydration: Not having enough fluid can cause red blood cell counts to appear higher because there isn’t as much fluid to balance them.
  • Kidney tumours: Certain kidney tumours cause your kidneys to produce more erythropoietin, a hormone that promotes the formation of red blood cells.
  • Lung conditions: Your body may attempt to create additional red blood cells if your lungs aren’t functioning properly to help deliver oxygen.
  • Polycythemia Vera: Your body produces more red blood cells as a result of this illness.

Other factors causing high haemoglobin levels

You may also be more likely to have high haemoglobin levels if you:

  • have a family history of disorders that affect red blood cell counts, such as altered oxygen sensing
  • live at a high altitude
  • recently received a blood transfusion
  • smoking

What are Low Haemoglobin Levels?

Low red blood cell counts are typically associated with low haemoglobin levels. Among the illnesses/diseases that may be the cause of this are:

  • Bone marrow diseases: These diseases, which include aplastic anaemia, lymphoma, and leukaemia, can all result in low red blood cell numbers.
  • Kidney failure: Your kidneys don’t make enough of the hormone erythropoietin, which promotes the development of red blood cells.
  • Uterine fibroids: These tumours are often not cancerous, but they can significantly reduce red blood cell levels due to severe bleeding.
  • Conditions that destroy red blood cells: These include thalassemia, hereditary spherocytosis, G6PD deficiency, and sickle cell anaemia.

Other factors causing low haemoglobin level

You may also be more likely to have low haemoglobin levels if you:

  • have a condition that causes chronic bleeding, such as gastric ulcers, colon polyps, or heavy menstrual periods
  • have a folate, iron, or vitamin B-12 deficiency
  • are pregnant
  • were involved in a traumatic accident, such as a car accident

Conclusion

The normal haemoglobin levels by age, gender, and overall health, may differ. Although there are many reasons why a person’s haemoglobin level could be high or low. Some people naturally have greater or lower levels. To determine whether your levels indicate an underlying issue, your doctor will look at your results in terms of your general health. For your comparison, the haemoglobin normal range male is typically 13.8 to 17.2 grams per deciliter (g/dL). The normal haemoglobin level in female is generally 12.1 to 15.1 g/dL. It is best to consult a doctor before making any conclusion about your haemoglobin level.

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