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Apolipoprotein E2 Linked to Favorable Cardiac Profile

Carriage of the apoE2 gene is associated with 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease

TUESDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotypes correlate linearly with low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels and coronary risk, and the e2 genotype is associated with the lowest cardiovascular risk, according to the results of a large meta-analysis in the Sept. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Anna M. Bennet, Ph.D., of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis of 82 studies of lipid levels with over 86,000 participants and 121 studies of coronary outcomes with almost 120,000 participants.

The researchers found a linear relationship between apoE genotype (when arranged e2/e2; e2/e3, e2/e4, e3/e3, e3/e4, e4/e4) and LDL-C and coronary risk. Individuals with the e2/e2 genotype had a 31 percent lower mean LDL-C value than those with the e4/e4 genotype. Compared with e3/e3 individuals, the most common genotype, carriers of e2 had a 20 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, while e4 carriers had a slightly higher risk.

This favorable profile of the e2 genotype stands "in contrast with previous estimates that e2 carriage is neutral for coronary risk. We noted strong evidence of selective publication in previous estimates based on smaller studies," the authors write.

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