Prevalence of APOE 4 Allele in Israeli Ethnic Groups
O. Hilkevich, J. Chapman, B-S. Bone, A.D. Korczyn
Neurology Dept., Tel Aviv Medical Center, and Depts. of Physiology, Pharmacology and Human Genetics, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
The 4 allele of the APOE gene, coding for apo-lipoprotein E, is the most common genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease and a significant risk factor for coronary atherosclerosis. There is therefore much interest in studying its frequency in different ethnic groups.
We examined its frequency in Jews originating from Libya, Buchara and Ethiopia and in Jews of Sepharadi and Ashkenazi origins. Its frequency among Ethiopian immigrants was 0.27, significantly higher than in the other groups, in which the frequency was between 0.067 and 0.10. These differences in allele frequency may serve as a basis for future studies in Israel to assess the relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to the incidence of dementia.