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31-10-2011 | Cardiology | Article

ApoE polymorphism raises DVT risk in women not men


Free abstract

MedWire News: Women with the apolipoprotein E (ApoE) ε2 allele are at increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), Brazilian researchers report.

But the presence of this allele does not appear to influence DVT risk in men, explain José de Godoy (Medicine School in São José do Rio Preto) and team in the Journal of Thrombosis and Thrombolysis.

They add: "This association has not been previously reported and so this work opens a new perspective on the genetic evaluation of thrombophilias."

The researchers recruited 60 male (n=19) and female (n=41) patients with DVT with a mean age of 58 years. An additional group, composed of 60 DVT-free male (n=39) and female (n=21) patients with a mean age of 33 years served as a control group.

All participants were assessed for ApoE genetic polymorphisms. Specifically, the ApoE allele type - ε2, ε3, or ε4 - and genotype - ε2/ε2, ε2/ε3, ε2/ε4, ε3/ε3, ε3/ε4, or ε4/ε4 - of the patients were compared with those of control participants.

The researchers found that the ε2 allele was only present among patients in the DVT group.

Gender-specific analysis further revealed that the ε2 allele was only present in female, but not male DVT patients. Indeed, no male DVT patients had the ε2 allele, whereas nine (11%) female patients did.

"There is no logical explanation for this association with gender; possibly it is related to the effect of female hormones," say the researchers.

Of note, no association was observed between ApoE genotype in patients or controls of either gender.

The authors conclude that further study is required to assess the role of female hormones in the observed association between DVT development and the ApoE ε2 allele.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Lauretta Ihonor

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