Background: APOE genotype strongly affects plasma lipid levels and risk for cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Studies of apo-e allelic and APOE genotype frequencies among several populations have revealed interesting ethnic variations that might affect cardiovascular morbidity and cognition deterioration.
Objectives: To evaluate apo-e allelic frequency among Israeli newborns based on known variances in apo-e allelic frequencies in different countries.
Methods: We examined 498 consecutive neonates born at Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center. Umbilical cord blood was sampled for genotyping and lipids. Birth weights were recorded. Demographics and parental risk factors for atherosclerosis were obtained from the mothers.
Results: Most parents were native-born Israelis. Other countries of origin of grandparents were Morocco, Russia, and Iraq. The prevalence of APOE genotypes in Israel is APOE 2/2: 1.4%, APOE 2/3: 8.2%, APOE 3/3: 77.7%, and APOE 4/4: 11.8%. There were no associations of APOE genotype with parental country of origin. However, there was a tendency for APOE 3/4 to be more frequent in newborns of parents of Asian and African origin. Genotype 3/3 was more frequent in newborns whose parents came from Europe and America (78%) compared to those from Asia or Africa (69%).
Conclusions: It is important to determine risk factors such as APOE genotype for evaluation of premature atherosclerosis. Determining genetic and environmental risk factors may facilitate earlier treatment and prevent heart and brain atherosclerosis. APOE genotypes did not appear to affect total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or triglyceride levels in newborns.