Researchers at Tufts Medical School found that families that have many members who live long lives have very strong immunities.

Many researchers feel that humans are programmed to live more than a hundred years, and most do not live that long because of environmental factors that shorten their lives. This study found that women with the strongest immunities were the ones most likely to come from families that had lots of very old members.

Researchers measured immunity with a delayed hypersensitivity skin test in which the skin swells and turns red on injection or touching with an infectious agent or allergen such as poison ivy. Living a very long life was not associated with how active a person is, how many calories a person burns at rest, body temperature, cholesterol profile, or reported dietary intake. Longevity was not associated with diet and cholesterol, because the importance of these factors probably diminish with aging. See report #1183.

Metabolic aging and predicted longevity: Results of a cross-sectional study in post-menopausal women. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 2002, Vol 14, Iss 6, pp 465-473. NP Hays, GP Bathalon, SN Meydani, LS Leka, R Lipman, R Roubenoff, EJ Schaefer, SB Roberts. Roberts SB, Tufts Univ, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutr Res Ctr Aging, Nutr Immunol Lab, 711 Washington St, Boston,MA 02111 USA

Checked 8/9/05

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