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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2007 Jul-Aug;16(4):160-6.

Association of apolipoprotein E gene polymorphism with ischemic stroke involving large-vessel disease and its relation to serum lipid levels.

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Research Unit of Hematologic and Autoimmune Diseases, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Monastir, Monastir, Tunisia.


A relationship between apolipoprotein E (Apo E) genotype and stroke was previously suggested, but with inconsistent results. We investigated the relationships among serum lipid levels, Apo E alleles and genotypes, and stroke risk factors in 216 stroke patients and 282 age- and sex-matched controls. Fasting blood samples were collected for total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglyceride level determination and for genomic DNA extraction. Apo was genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (Cfo I) analysis. Increasing levels of total cholesterol, LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglycerides were associated with elevated stroke risk and was more pronounced in Apo E4-carrying subjects than in E3- and/or E2-carrying subjects. Apo 3 was significantly lower (0.546 vs 0.736; P < .001), whereas Apo 4 was higher in the stroke patients (0.370 vs 0.181; P < .001); Apo 2 was present at low but comparable frequencies. The prevalence of E3/E3 was lower and that of E4-containing phenotypes (E3/E4 and homozygous E4/E4) was higher in the stroke patients. The prevalence of the E4-containing phenotypes were significantly higher in ischemic versus hemorrhagic (P < .001) and in small-vessel versus large-vessel stroke cases (P < .001), and was associated with increased need for statin drugs (P = .040). Logistic regression models, after adjusting for potentially confounding variables including lipid profile, age, and sex, showed an significant association of apo 4 genotype with risk of stroke (P = .033). Our findings indicate that Apo 4 is an independent risk factor associated with an altered lipid profile in this study population.

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