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11-11-2009 | Cardiometabolic | Article

BMI and adiponectin affect APOE gene impact on lipid profile of obese children


Free abstract

MedWire News: The impact of apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) variants on lipid profile in obese children and adolescents is affected by body mass index (BMI) and adiponectin levels, research suggests.

Henrique Nascimento (Universidade do Porto, Portugal) and colleagues studied 138 obese children and adolescents, aged 4 to 16 years, of whom 62 were boys.

Participants included 11 APOE2 carriers, 31 APOE4 carriers, and 94 carriers of APOE3/E3. The two E2/E4 carriers were excluded from the apoE analysis as they carried both alleles, but were kept in for other analyses.

BMI z score –used as BMIs were not normally distributed – was less than 2.0 in 31 participants, between 2.0 and 2.5 in 65, and more than 2.5 in 42 individuals.

E4 carriers had a worse lipid profile than E2 and E3/E3 carriers, with significantly higher values of total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and apoB.

E4 carriers also had the lowest values of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and apo A-I, and consequently significantly higher TC: HDL cholesterol ratio and lower apo A-I: apo B ratio than the other two groups.

Lipid profile also worsened for those with the highest BMI z score.

APOE polymorphism, BMI z score, and adiponectin level were significantly associated with TC: HDL cholesterol ratio and apo A-I: apo B ratio.

Interestingly, the effect of APOE polymorphism on the TC: HDL cholesterol ratio and lipoprotein apo A-I: apo B ratio appeared to be influenced by BMI z score and adiponectin level.

Participants with lower adiponectin levels or a higher BMI z score presented with higher TC: HDL cholesterol and lower apo A-I: apo B ratios than other participants, irrespective of the apo E polymorphism carried.

The researchers say their findings “may be of particular relevance because obese individuals, particularly those with risk APOE genotypes, may benefit from a closer clinical follow-up.”

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2009

By Anita Wilkinson