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How do you read a hemoglobin count chart?

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Quick Answer

Hemoglobin count charts are read according to a person’s age from birth to childhood, according to MedicineNet. In midadolescence, the chart is read according to both the person’s age and gender.

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A hemoglobin count reflects the oxygen-carrying capacity of a person’s blood, informs MedicineNet. Hemoglobin is a four-protein structure that is responsible for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the various tissues of the body.

The hemoglobin of infants is composed of slightly different types of protein than the average adult, adds MedicineNet. Infants have gamma proteins present in their blood and the highest total hemoglobin count than any other age group. Higher hemoglobin counts give them a higher oxygen-carrying capacity during their developmental stage. As they age, their gamma proteins are replaced by beta proteins, and the total hemoglobin count falls to its lowest point in early childhood.

The hemoglobin of a normal adult is composed of alpha and beta proteins, notes MedicineNet. Hemoglobin levels rise again in adolescence and differ by sex. Normal hemoglobin levels of adult males are higher than that of females within the same age group. In elderly individuals, total hemoglobin levels fall again; however, males continue to show higher levels than females of the same age group.

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