Is the apoE4 allele an independent predictor of coronary events?

Angelo Scuteri, Angelo J.G. Bos, Alan B. Zonderman, Larry J. Brant, Edward G. Lakatta, Jerome L. Fleg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


PURPOSE: Although the apolipoprotein E genotype ε4 (apoE4) has been associated with high cholesterol levels, whether it is an independent predictor of coronary events is not certain. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We measured apoE genotypes in 730 participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (421 men and 309 women, mean [± SD] age of 52 ± 17 years) who were free of preexisting coronary heart disease. A proportional hazards regression model was used to study the association between risk factors and the occurrence of coronary events, defined as angina pectoris, documented myocardial infarction by history or major Q waves on the electrocardiogram (Minnesota Code 1:1 or 1:2), or coronary death, adjusted for other risk factors, including total plasma cholesterol level. RESULTS: The apoE4 allele was observed in 200 subjects (27%), including 183 heterozygotes and 17 homozygotes. Coronary risk factor profiles were similar in those with and without apoE4. Coronary events developed in 104 (14%) of the 730 subjects, including 77 (18%) of the 421 men during a mean follow-up of 20 years and 27 (9%) of the 309 women during a mean follow-up of 13 years. Coronary events occurred significantly more frequently in subjects with apoE4 (n = 40, 20%) than in those without this allele (64, 12%, P < 0.05). In a multivariate model, apoE4 was an independent predictor of coronary events in men (risk ratio [RR] = 2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.8 to 4.5, P < 0.0001) but not in women (RR = 0.9, 95% CI: 0.4 to 1.9, P = 0.62). CONCLUSION: The apoE4 genotype is a strong independent risk factor for coronary events in men, but not women. The association does not appear to be mediated by differences in total cholesterol levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 30 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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