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PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e41525. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0041525. Epub 2012 Jul 23.

Associations between apolipoprotein E genotype, diet, body mass index, and serum lipids in Lithuanian adult population.

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  • 1Faculty of Public Health, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania.



Apolipoprotein E (APOE) polymorphism is associated with lipid levels. Some studies have reported that blood lipid response to diet or obesity varies depending on APOE genotypes. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of APOE genotypes, the intake of saturated fatty acids (SFA), and obesity on serum lipid levels in Lithuanian adult population.


A cross-sectional health survey was carried out in five municipalities of Lithuania. The random sample was obtained from lists of 25-64 year-old inhabitants registered at primary health care centres. The data from 996 subjects (416 men and 580 women) were analysed in this study. Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (rs429358 and rs7412) were assessed using a real-time polymerase chain reaction. 24-hour recall and food frequency questionnaire were used for evaluation of dietary habits. Serum lipids were determined using enzymatic methods. Men and women with the APOE2 genotype had the lowest level of total cholesterol (TC) (p = 0.002 for men, and p = 0.02 for women) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (p<0.001). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that age, genotype APOE2, SFA intake, and body mass index (BMI) were significant determinants of TC and LDL-C level (with p values ranging from 0.043 to 0.001). Our data did not reveal any statistically significant interactions between APOE genotype and SFA intake or between APOE genotype and BMI regarding TC and LDL-C level (all p>0.05). However, the predictive power of the regression model for LDL-C improved when gene-BMI interaction and gene-BMI interaction plus gene-nutrient interaction were added (p = 0.04 and p = 0.032 for R(2) change, respectively).


APOE genotypes, SFA intake, and obesity were found to be associated with blood lipid levels in Lithuanian adult population. Analysis of gene-diet and gene-obesity interactions did not confirm that the effects of diet and obesity on TC and LDL-C level significantly depended on APOE genotype.

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