MPN Voice
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ET and living at higher elevation

Considering a move from our home at an elevation of 100m above sea level to the mountains at an elevation of 2000+m above sea level. I have ET JAK2+ being managed with 500mg Hydrea daily. Platelet counts being held in the 400 range. How might altitude affect blood cell/platelet production, especially added red cells need for oxygenation at higher elevation?

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I think you need to consult at least one MPN specialist because concern was expressed when I wanted to spend a month in Ethiopia. ( I have ET and am on HU at 74 years of age.) I was told that living at a high altitude for a long-ish period could trigger an underlying condition. I took this to mean myelofibrosis or something on those lines. It was suggested I could go for a week since this would not put me under stress for too long. Sallie

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Thanks, Mwal. Not great news...but I'm grateful for it.

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Jerry were are you thinking to move? I live in CO 5869' . Blood is so complicated. RBC in normal range but hemaglobin on the low end. Maybe that's what's wrong with me!

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Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA.

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I was with my hematologist one day when my results were as good as I liked, I told her I was headed for the beach for a vacation! She said noo nooo go to Colorado as it will help to thin your blood naturally!

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Hi Jerrymohler,

I am so glad you brought this subject up now, as I have just booked flights to visit my son and his family in Denver CO where I was told they live at around 5,800ft. I have ET, diagnosed almost 4 years ago and I have travelled widely since then with no repercussions but never at altitude. I am 70 years old and my husband and I (72) will be out there for 3 weeks before flying on to Avon Lake, Cleveland to visit friends for a week then on to Washington DC for 3 days sightseeing. My son warned us that the altitude may affect us in the first week, but I had no idea it could affect my condition. I am due to see my heamo or specialist nurse on 17th January so its definitely one to discuss, although I doubt I shall change my mind about going. We fly in June next year so there is quite a bit of time to look into this. Do let us know if you find out any more details. Happy New Year - Sue

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