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Red cell shape changes in the blood of people 60 years of age and older imply a role for blood rheology in the aging process.

Authors
  • Simpson, L O
  • O'Neill, D J
Type
Published Article
Journal
Gerontology
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2003
Volume
49
Issue
5
Pages
310–315
Identifiers
PMID: 12920351
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Five-drop samples of venous blood, which was fixed immediately, were obtained from 76 males and 91 females who were 60 years of age and older, and did not take part in competitive sport, and from 73 males and 50 females participating in the Golden Oldies Soccer tournament or in the Dunedin Masters' Games. Most participants were nonsmokers. Those in the competitive group indicated a higher level of activity than those in the noncompetitive group, and the majority of participants indicated high levels of well-being. 30 different medical diagnoses were recorded including hypertension (36 cases), arthritis (17 cases), diabetes (6 cases), angina (6 cases) and coronary heart disease (7 cases). Most samples had high values for flat cells. Increased values for cells with altered margins were found in 7 males and 7 females, while 6 males and 1 female sample had increased values for cells with surface changes. It is concluded that some factor or factors in the aging process are responsible for red cell shape transformation. As high values for flat cells occur in people with chronic disorders, the lack of symptoms or evidence of dysfunction in people over 60 implies that survival is a consequence of having larger than usual capillaries.

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