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Autoantibodies like Rheumatoid factor (RF), Anticardiolipin antibody (ACLA) normally used in diagnosing autoimmune diseases have also been identified in healthy individuals . The presence of such autoantibodies could alter their diagnostic and predictive value. Oc-currence of these autoantibodies have been shown to vary with age, geographical location and other environmental factors. This study was done as an attempt to find the occurrence of RF,ACLA and ANA in healthy adults in South Indian population and to analyze the variations in occurrence between different adult age groups. The study was done in 150 subjects in three age groups of 50 each. Individuals between 20 to 39 years were under group 1, 40 and 59 years under group 2 and 60 years and above were under group3. Sub-jects were selected from health camps and blood donation camps in and around Bangalore. Rheumatoid factor was tested by latex agglutination method, Anticardiolipin antibodies by ELISA and Antinuclear antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence method. Frequency of occurrence of all three autoantibodies especially that of ACLA was greater than ex-pected frequency in both group1 and 2 .The frequency in elderly(group3) was increased as expected. Results also show that co-occurrence of more than one autoantibody in the same individual increases as age advances. Increase in RF , ACLA, ANA in apparently healthy individuals should be assessed carefully to prevent unnecessary treatment but at the same time they may need follow up to avoid missing early diagnosis of autoimmune disease.
Autoantibodies, Rhematoid Factor, Anticardiolipin antibody, antinuclear