June 6th, 2012

Immune System Glitch Linked to Four Times Higher Risk of Death

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People with an immune system flaw that causes the overproduction of an antibody molecule called a free light chain are four times more likely to die of diseases including cancer, diabetes and cardiac and respiratory disease than those with normal levels, according to researchers from the Mayo Clinic…Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, a Mayo Clinic hematologist and lead author of the new study, and his colleagues first noted the association between free light chains and death risk during earlier research of melanoma precursors. “It’s interesting that levels that are abnormal years prior to an event can be a predictor. A test that tells you something about a patient before anything adverse occurs is valuable,” says Rajkumar.

Additional coverage: Health.com,

 

TIME by Alexandra Sifferlin

Tags: Dr. Vincent Rajkumar, free light chain, Immunology, increased death risk, Research, TIME

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