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Nihon Ronen Igakkai Zasshi. 1996 Mar;33(3):180-5.

[Family history and the frequency of human leukocyte antigen (HLA-DR) in centenarians].

[Article in Japanese]

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Research Center of Comprehensive Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Ryukyus, Japan.


There are a few reports that associate several loci of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) with longevity, such as DR1 which is significantly frequent in the very old, especially in Okinawa centenarians. In contrast DR9 is decreased. This report investigates 87 healthy Okinawan centenarians and 148 healthy Okinawan controls examined since 1987 with HLA phenotyping and family history questionnaires. The mean age in centenarians was 101.6 years, and that of controls was 66.4. We inquired the age and the cause of death of the parents of the subjects. Subjects whose parent's deaths were by suicide, homicide, accident, war or due to war trauma, were excluded and only those resulting from illness or natural causes were included. The relation between age of death of parents and DR types were studied. Compared to controls, DR1 was significantly increased in the centenarians (p = 0.036, RR 4.239), and DR8 was decreased (p = 0.012, RR = 0.412). When the mean age of death of parents for each DR group and that of total was determined, the mean death age of those with DR9 was significantly lower than the mean of the total (p < 0.05). More over, when the frequency rate of the DR types were compared with the parents' death age, that of DR9 decreased as the age of death increased. It is suggested that some loci of HLA-DR relate to longevity and some genetic protection against immunorelated diseases contributes to long-lived lineage.

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