Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Opin Lipidol. 2009 Apr;20(2):92-7.

Hypoalphalipoproteinemia in populations of Native American ancestry: an opportunity to assess the interaction of genes and the environment.

Author information

Departamento de Endocrinología y Metabolismo del Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, México DF, Mexico.



Our aim is to review the environmental and genetic factors associated with hypoalphalipoproteinemia in populations of Native American ancestry. We examine the strength of the association and outline the population-specific genetic factors that lead to a higher susceptibilty for this condition.


Low HDL is the most common lipid abnormality in populations of Native American ancestry. Population-based surveys carried out in Latin America and in Mexican Americans shows that 40-60% of adults have hypoalphalipoproteinemia. The contribution of this trait to the metabolic syndrome is greater in individuals with Native American ancestry than in other ethnic groups. Several environmental factors have contributed to this phenomenon (i.e. high dietary content of carbohydrates and fat due to cultural factors and a growing incidence of obesity). In addition, results from recent genetic studies show that certain hypoalphalipoproteinemia susceptibility alleles are ethnic specific for Native Americans. The variant R230C of the ATP-binding cassette transporter subfamily A member 1 gene (ABC-A1) is common among mestizos (10.9% in Mexican mestizos) and its presence has a significant negative effect on HDL cholesterol levels (-4.2%). An additional noteworthy finding is that the R230C variant appears to be specific for the Amerindian populations. Its allele frequency is 0.28 in Mayans, 0.214 in Purepechas, 0.203 in Yaquis and 0.179 among Teenek. In contrast, the C230 allele has not been found in African, European, Chinese or South Asian populations.


The assessment of the genetic and environmental determinants of hypoalphalipoproteinemia in populations of Native American origin provides an opportunity to assess the population-specific interactions between genes and the environment

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center