Influence of major histocompatibility complex region genes on human longevity among Okinawan-Japanese centenarians and nonagenarians

Lancet. 1987 Oct 10;2(8563):824-6. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(87)91015-4.


The frequencies of 80 HLA antigen phenotypes in 82 centenarians and 20 nonagenarians in Okinawa, Japan, were compared with those in other healthy adults in various age-brackets. Subjects aged over 90 had an extremely low frequency of HLA-DRw9 and an increased frequency of DR1. In this age-group the relative risk of corrected (for number of antigens) p value for HLA-DRw9 were 5.2 and 0.0001, respectively; those for HLA-DR1 were 13.3 and 0.0367, respectively. Since a high frequency of DRw9 and a low frequency of DR1 are associated with autoimmune or immune deficiency diseases, the genetic protection against these disorders may contribute to longevity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-D Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Longevity*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-D Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens