Apolipoprotein E genotype and sex risk factors for Alzheimer disease: A meta-analysis

Scott C. Neu, Judy Pa, Walter Kukull, Duane Beekly, Amanda Kuzma, Prabhakaran Gangadharan, Li San Wang, Klaus Romero, Stephen P. Arneric, Alberto Redolfi, Daniele Orlandi, Giovanni B. Frisoni, Rhoda Au, Sherral Devine, Sanford Auerbach, Ana Espinosa, Mercè Boada, Agustín Ruiz, Sterling C. Johnson, Rebecca KoscikJiun Jie Wang, Wen Chuin Hsu, Yao Liang Chen, Arthur W. Toga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

IMPORTANCE: It is unclear whether female carriers of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) ε4 allele are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer disease (AD) than men, and the sex-dependent association of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and APOE has not been established. OBJECTIVE: To determine how sex and APOE genotype affect the risks for developing MCI and AD. DATA SOURCES: Twenty-seven independent research studies in the Global Alzheimer’s Association Interactive Network with data on nearly 58 000 participants. STUDY SELECTION: Non-Hispanic white individuals with clinical diagnostic and APOE genotype data. DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: Homogeneous data sets were pooled in case-control analyses, and logistic regression models were used to compute risks. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Age-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals for developing MCI and AD were calculated for men and women across APOE genotypes. RESULTS: Participants were men and women between ages 55 and 85 years. Across data sets most participants were white, and for many participants, racial/ethnic information was either not collected or not known. Men (OR, 3.09; 95% CI, 2.79-3.42) and women (OR, 3.31; CI, 3.03-3.61) with the APOE ε3/ε4 genotype from ages 55 to 85 years did not show a difference in AD risk; however, women had an increased risk compared with men between the ages of 65 and 75 years (women, OR, 4.37; 95% CI, 3.82-5.00; men, OR, 3.14; 95% CI, 2.68-3.67; P=.002). Men with APOE ε3/ε4 had an increased risk of AD compared with men with APOE ε3/ε3. The APOE ε2/ε3 genotype conferred a protective effect on women (OR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.43-0.61) decreasing their risk of AD more (P value = .01) than men (OR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.60-0.85). There was no difference between men with APOE ε3/ε4 (OR, 1.55; 95% CI, 1.36-1.76) and women (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.43-1.81) in their risk of developing MCI between the ages of 55 and 85 years, but women had an increased risk between 55 and 70 years (women, OR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.19-1.73; men, OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 0.87-1.30; P=.05). There were no significant differences between men and women in their risks for converting from MCI to AD between the ages of 55 and 85 years. Individuals with APOE ε4/ε4 showed increased risks vs individuals with ε3/ε4, but no significant differences between men and women with ε4/ε4 were seen. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Contrary to long-standing views, men and women with the APOE ε3/ε4 genotype have nearly the same odds of developing AD from age 55 to 85 years, but women have an increased risk at younger ages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1178-1189
Number of pages12
JournalJAMA Neurology
Volume74
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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    Neu, S. C., Pa, J., Kukull, W., Beekly, D., Kuzma, A., Gangadharan, P., Wang, L. S., Romero, K., Arneric, S. P., Redolfi, A., Orlandi, D., Frisoni, G. B., Au, R., Devine, S., Auerbach, S., Espinosa, A., Boada, M., Ruiz, A., Johnson, S. C., ... Toga, A. W. (2017). Apolipoprotein E genotype and sex risk factors for Alzheimer disease: A meta-analysis. JAMA Neurology, 74(10), 1178-1189. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.2188