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Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2015 Mar-Apr;78(2):85-8. doi: 10.5935/0004-2749.20150023.

Association of high-density lipoprotein and apolipoprotein E genetic variants with age-related macular degeneration.

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Medical School of São José do Rio Preto, São José do Rio Preto, SP, Brazil.
Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School of Ribeirão Preto, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.



This study aimed to evaluate the association of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with apolipoprotein E (APOE) variants and serum lipid profiles, including levels and fractions of total serum cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDLc), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDLc), and triglycerides (TG).


Genotyping of APOE-HhaI was performed in 134 patients (study group, SG) and 164 individuals without AMD (control group, CG), aged 50-89 years. Lipid profiles were analyzed in a subgroup of 30 subjects of both groups, matched according to age and sex. The significance level was set at P<0.05.


APOE E3/E3 was more prevalent (SG=74.6%; CG=77.4%), with no difference between both groups (P=0.667). The same result was observed for risk genotypes (APOE E -/2: SG=7.4%; CG=10.3%, P=0.624). Serum levels of TC, LDLc, and TG revealed similar median values between SG (193.5, 116, and 155 mg/dL, respectively) and CG (207.5, 120, and 123.5 mg/dL, respectively; P >0.05). For HDLc, a higher median value was observed in SG (53.3 mg/dL) versus CG (42.5 mg/dL; P=0.016). Logistic regression analysis showed the same value, and the HDLc/TC ratio was -11.423 (P=0.014), as also confirmed by an increase in HDLc in SG. The association between lipid profiles and apolipoprotein E genotypes was similar in both groups (P>0.05).


APOE-HhaI is not associated with AMD. However, an increase in serum HDLc level appears to exert a protective effect against the disease, irrespective of the genetic variants of apoE.

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