Antinuclear antibodies in healthy aging people: a prospective study

Mech Ageing Dev. 1995 Mar 1;78(2):145-54. doi: 10.1016/0047-6374(94)01532-q.


In order to evaluate the expression of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) in normal elderly individuals over time and clinical significance, a cross-sectional ANA testing in healthy Japanese was performed, followed by annual evaluations of ANA positive aged (> or = 65 years) and a control group. ANA was more prevalent in the aged (11.4% vs. 3.8%) and most were persistent after 4 years. Anti-ssDNA and anti-histone antibodies were increased in aged ANA positive as compared to ANA negative controls. Except for a history of spontaneous abortion, there was no differences in clinical findings. HLA DRB1*0901 and the DQB1*0602 + 0302 + 0303 set of alleles were increased in ANA positive. Therefore, ANA in the aged were persistent, apparently directed toward chromatin elements, and shared MHC associations with autoimmune diseases. Longer follow-up may be necessary to improve the evaluation of clinical significance of ANA in the aged.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aging / immunology*
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / immunology*
  • Autoimmunity / immunology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA Probes
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • DNA Probes
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M