A study has uncovered that nearly three percent of the over 34,000 surveyed Americans have weakened or suppressed immune systems. The findings offer insight into the number of Americans who have immune-suppressing disorders or take drugs for autoimmune disorders.
Lead researcher Dr. Rafael Harpaz and colleagues wrote, “Tracking immunosuppression over time is particularly important, given the hundreds of clinical trials now under way to assess the use of immunosuppressive treatments for prevention or mitigation of common chronic diseases in highly prevalent risk groups.”
Immunosuppression increases the risk of infection, and has implications for food and water safety as well as other aspects of health.
The researchers estimated that three percent of Americans have weakened immune systems. Prevalence was seen highest among women, whites, and those over the age of 50.
The study authors added, “The higher prevalence of immunosuppression among women may reflect their higher risk for autoimmune conditions.”
It was unclear why immunosuppression peaked between the ages of 50 to 59.