Can polycythemia be hereditary? What is the gene for too many red blood cells?

Maybe "genetic risk. Polycythemia can be acquired. It is a natural respohse to living on a high mountain. There are oxygen censors in the brainstem and if oxidation is compromised a signal goes to the kidney to produce erythropoietin. This then signals the bone marrow to produce more red cells to compensate for the rarefied air. Exactly the same thing can happen with vitamin b1 deficiency induced by excess of sugar.
Polycythemia. Yes, polycythemia vera can be hereditary. Mutations in the jak2 and tet2 genes are associated with polycythemia vera.

Related Questions

Do people with polycythemia have much hemoglobin in their red blood cells?

No more than usual. The problem is the number of red blood cells (there are too many), not the amount of hemoglobin in each cell. Read more...
Normal . In polycythemia the amount of hemoglobin in red cells is normal. The total number of red cells (red cell mass) is increased. Hgb > 18.5 or hct>56 in males strongly suggests increased red cell mass. Read more...