Apolipoprotein E (apoE) phenotypes were determined in a random sample of 466 Danish men born in 1948. The frequencies of the common alleles of the apoE gene were (with 95% confidence intervals) epsilon 2 = 0.085 (0.068-0.105), epsilon 3 = 0.741 (0.712-0.769), and epsilon 4 = 0.174 (0.150-0.200). These frequencies were compared to findings in 45 other study populations around the world (n greater than 100). The Danish population was found to cluster with populations from Iceland, Norway, Iceland, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany, France (Paris), and Caucasian populations in Canada and the USA. The compiled data further show that dissimilarities in apoE allele frequencies among Caucasian populations are comparable to dissimilarities between some Caucasian and Asian populations. Notably, the frequency of epsilon 4 appears to be higher in northern regions of Europe (the Nordic countries, Scotland, Germany, and the Netherlands) than in southern regions (Switzerland, Tyrol, France [Nancy], Italy, and Spain).