Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry Search  |  Index  |  Home  |  Glossary  |  Contact Us  


ATSDR Identifies 33 Confirmed Cases in PV Investigation


For Immediate Release: August 25, 2008

ATLANTA—The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) confirmed 33 cases of polycythemia vera (PV) in Carbon, Schuylkill, and Luzerne counties in a community meeting held today.  The investigation was designed to count the number of PV cases in the area, verify the diagnosis, and to look for common characteristics among the cases.  The investigation was not designed to identify a cause for PV. 

PV is a rare illness that causes the body to make too many red blood cells.  ATSDR scientists used a recently discovered biomarker, JAK2, to confirm the 33 cases. The confirmed cases shared no common jobs, ancestry, lifestyle choices, or exposures.

Additional key findings from the report include:

ATSDR and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PADOH) are recommending additional research to assess potential risk factors.

ATSDR and PADOH convened a roundtable of experts earlier today in Philadelphia to identify research priorities. PADOH will continue to monitor PV occurrence in the state while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to evaluate state and national registry reporting systems for PV cases.

For more information on the PV investigation, please visit the PV Web site at:

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the human health effects of exposure to hazardous substances.


Members of the news media can request an interview by calling the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication at 770-488-0700.

Back to ATSDR Home page

Updated August 25, 2008
For more information, contact ATSDR at:
770-488-0700 or e-mail (news media)

ATSDR Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Glossary  |  Contact Us
About ATSDR  |  News Archive  |  ToxFAQs  |  Public Health Assessments
Privacy Policy  |  External Links Disclaimer  |  Accessibility
US Department of Health and Human Services