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STUDY: Immune responses of healthy humans 83-104 years of age.
JOURNAL: J Natl Cancer Inst 1983 Aug;71(2):265-8
AUTHORS: Dworsky R, Paganini-Hill A, Arthur M, Parker J
ABSTRACT: The immune responses of 19 healthy people 83-104 years of age were compared to those of younger healthy persons. A decline in mitogen response to concanavalin A and pokeweed mitogen, but not to phytohemagglutinin, was observed. Positive skin test to two recall antigens occurred in only 5 of the 19 aged people; 4 of these 5 reported a history of blood transfusion. Antibody titers were elevated for persistent DNA viruses but not for RNA viruses. An excess of ABO blood type B was found, but no human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A or HLA-B type was found in elevated proportion.
COMMENTARY: It has been my feeling (for quite a long time) that group B individuals on average are a bit healthier than their counterparts. Since they tend to fall almost invariably between A and O with regard to disease susceptibilities, this 'tempering effect' can be expected to translate into a higher percentage of type B individuals attaining a more advanced age.