Comparisons of lymphocyte subsets show that the ratio of CD4 to CD8 is usually greater than one. Inversion of this ratio was found to predict survival in a Swedish octogenarian sample (n=27 deaths), although individual lymphocyte subsets did not predict survival. We have examined these relationships in a larger sample (n=153 deaths). Inversion of the CD4 to CD8 ratio was present in 16% of the sample and predicted survival when adjusted for age but not when adjusted for sex. For individual lymphocyte subsets, higher CD4 and CD19 percentages were associated with better survival, but only the CD19 percentage remained significant when adjusted for age and sex.