Interactions between apolipoprotein E and apolipoprotein(a) in patients with late-onset Alzheimer disease

Ann Intern Med. 2000 Apr 4;132(7):533-7. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-132-7-200004040-00004.


Background: Apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)], the distinctive, highly polymorphic glycoprotein of lipoprotein(a), shares a series of common features with apolipoprotein E (apoE), which is implicated in the development of Alzheimer disease.

Objective: To determine whether apo(a) is associated with Alzheimer disease.

Design: Case-control study.

Setting: University hospitals in Europe.

Participants: 285 patients with Alzheimer disease and 296 controls.

Measurements: Plasma lipoprotein(a) levels, size of the apo(a) isoforms, and apoE and apo(a) genotyping.

Results: Among carriers of the apoE epsilon4 allele, lipoprotein(a) was associated with a progressive, age-dependent increased risk for late-onset Alzheimer disease (odds ratio for patients >80 years of age, 6.0 [95% CI, 1.2 to 30.8]; P<0.01). Among noncarriers older than 80 years of age, lipoprotein(a) was associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer disease (odds ratio, 0.4 [CI, 0.2 to 0.91; P<0.05).

Conclusions: In this convenience sample, lipoprotein(a) was an additional risk factor for late-onset Alzheimer disease in carriers of the apoE epsilon4 allele. However, lipoprotein(a) may protect against late-onset Alzheimer disease in noncarriers.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alleles
  • Alzheimer Disease / blood*
  • Apolipoproteins E / blood*
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / blood
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Lipoprotein(a) / blood*
  • Lipoprotein(a) / genetics*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Isoenzymes
  • Lipoprotein(a)