Saturday, December 20, 2014

Table of Contents

Alternative Names

Hgb; Hb


Normal Values

Normal results vary, but in general are:

  • Male: 13.8 to 17.2 gm/dL
  • Female: 12.1 to 15.1 gm/dL

Note: gm/dL = grams per deciliter

Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.


What abnormal results mean

Lower-than-normal hemoglobin may be due to:

  • Anemia (various types)
  • Bleeding
  • Destruction of red blood cells
  • Leukemia
  • Malnutrition
  • Nutritional deficiencies of iron, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6
  • Overhydration

Higher-than-normal hemoglobin may be due to:

  • Congenital heart disease
  • Cor pulmonale
  • Dehydration
  • Erythrocytosis
  • Low blood oxygen levels (hypoxia)
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Polycythemia vera

Additional conditions under which the test may be performed:

  • Anemia of chronic disease
  • Drug-induced immune hemolytic anemia
  • Giant cell (temporal, cranial) arteritis
  • Hemoglobinopathies
  • Hemolytic anemia due to G6PD deficiency
  • Idiopathic aplastic anemia
  • Idiopathic autoimmune hemolytic anemia
  • Immune hemolytic anemia
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria (PCH)
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH)
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Placenta abruptio
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Secondary aplastic anemia


Review Date: 02/09/2010
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)