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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Apolipoprotein E Genotype and Cardiovascular Diseases in the Elderly

  • Author(s): Haan, Mary N.
  • Mayeda, Elizabeth R.
  • et al.

The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype is a genetic risk factor for dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It includes three alleles (e2, e3, e4) that are located on chromosome 19q3.2. The e3 allele is the most common and is more common in people of Northern European ancestry and less common in those of Asian ancestry. Those with at least one e4 allele are at increased risk for CVD outcomes. It is well established that the presence of an e4 allele is linked to higher low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, even at young ages. Even though most CVD occurs in older people, there are few studies of the effects of APOE on CVD in older people. This review addresses recent research on the links between APOE, CVD, and vascular mechanisms by which APOE may affect CVD in the elderly.

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