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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

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Volume 45, Issue 5 (May 2007)


Influence of apolipoprotein E polymorphism on serum lipid and lipoprotein changes: a 21-year follow-up study from childhood to adulthood. The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study

Paula Grönroos
  • 1Laboratory of Atherosclerosis Genetics, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Tampere University Hospital and the Medical School at the University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland and Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
/ Olli T. Raitakari
  • 2Department of Clinical Physiology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
/ Mika Kähönen
  • 3Department of Clinical Physiology, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
/ Nina Hutri-Kähönen
  • 4Department of Paediatrics, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland
/ Jukka Marniemi
  • 5Department of Health and Functional Capacity, Population Research Laboratory, National Public Health Institute, Turku, Finland
/ Jorma Viikari
  • 6Department of Medicine, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
/ Terho Lehtimäki
  • 7Laboratory of Atherosclerosis Genetics, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Tampere University Hospital and the Medical School at the University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Published Online: 2007-05-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2007.116


Background: We examined the influence of apolipoprotein E (apoE) polymorphism on longitudinal changes in serum lipids by following the subjects participating in The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study over a 21-year period.

Methods: Serum lipids were determined in randomly selected Finnish children and adolescents in 1980 and the subjects were re-examined in 1983, 1986 and after 21 years in 2001. ApoE polymorphism was determined in 1736 participants, and serum lipid values and apoE phenotypes were available for 1233 subjects.

Results: ApoE phenotype-related differences in serum total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol were maintained throughout the 21-year follow-up from childhood to adulthood, i.e., the apoE ɛ2 allele was consistently associated with lower and the ɛ4 allele with higher total and LDL-cholesterol (p<0.001 for all). In adulthood, there was also a significant apoE phenotype-related difference in high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (p=0.007), and the ɛ2 allele was associated with higher and the ɛ4 allele with lower apoA-I and HDL-cholesterol. In addition, apoB increased in the phenotype order E3/2<E3/3<E4 (E4/3+E4/4) (p<0.001). The LDL-lowering effect of the ɛ2 allele was greater in adulthood than in childhood, i.e., there was a significant apoE phenotype×time interaction (p=0.039) with longitudinal change in LDL-cholesterol.

Conclusions: ApoE polymorphism is associated with lipid levels at different ages and affects the longitudinal change in LDL-cholesterol from childhood to adulthood.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2007;45:592–8.

Keywords: apolipoprotein E polymorphism; cardiovascular risk factors; cholesterol; lipids; long-term follow-up

About the article

Corresponding author: Paula Grönroos, MD, PhD, Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Turku, Kiinamyllynkatu 4-8, PO Box 52, 20521 Turku, Finland Phone: +358-400-937460, Fax: +358-2-3133924,

Received: 2006-12-21

Accepted: 2007-02-11

Published Online: 2007-05-07

Published in Print: 2007-05-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemical Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 14346621, ISSN (Print) 14374331, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2007.116. Export Citation

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