How does aging affect the immune system?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Our immune system begins to fail in two fundamental ways as we age. It can become negligent, allowing abnormal cells -- either infectious agents or cancer cells -- to grow unchecked. Or it can become overzealous, turning on the body and attacking normal tissues, as occurs in autoimmune diseases. Many forms of arthritis, connective tissue diseases, and allergies are autoimmune diseases.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.