Polycythemia is an abnormal increase in the number of red blood cells produced by the bone marrow. The extra numbers of red blood cells cause blood to thicken and may increase the risk of blood clots that may cause heart attacks or strokes.
Treatment for polycythemia (also called erythrocythemia) sometimes involves removing red blood cells (much like donating blood) from the blood. But this procedure may decrease iron levels in the body.
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Brian D. O'Brien MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Brian Leber MDCM, FRCPC - Hematology