Mortality is associated with apolipoprotein E ε4 in nondemented adults with Down syndrome

Warren B. Zigman, Edmund C. Jenkins, Benjamin Tycko, Nicole Schupf, Wayne Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Apolipoprotein E genotype has been related to survival in the general population, but its strong association with Alzheimer's disease (AD) makes interpretation of findings difficult. Previous studies of adults with Down syndrome (DS) have consistently found that the presence of the apolipoprotein E ε2 allele increases longevity and reduces the risk of dementia, while the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele increases risk for dementia. In contrast, reduced frequencies of the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele among elderly groups have been reported, suggesting that the ε4 allele may be associated with early mortality in this population. To disentangle effects of dementia from those of aging, per se, we compared mortality risk as a function of apolipoprotein E genotype in 146 nondemented adults with DS in a prospective study. Individuals with at least one ε4 allele were approximately five times more likely to die within a 5- to 7-year follow-up period than those without an ε4 allele, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, level of mental retardation, and cholesterol level. These results suggest that the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele has an independent and strong relation to early mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-97
Number of pages5
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 23 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • APOE
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Down syndrome
  • Mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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