Personal characteristics of older primary care patients who provide a buccal swab for apolipoprotein E testing and banking of genetic material: the spectrum study

Community Genet. 2004;7(4):202-10. doi: 10.1159/000082263.


Objective: To determine the personal characteristics and reasons associated with providing a buccal swab for apolipoprotein E (APOE) genetic testing in a primary care study.

Methods: The study sample consisted of 342 adults aged 65 years and older recruited from primary care settings.

Results: In all, 88% of patients agreed to provide a DNA sample for APOE genotyping and 78% of persons providing a sample agreed to banking of the DNA. Persons aged 80 years and older and African-Americans were less likely to participate in APOE genotyping. Concern about confidentiality was the most common reason for not wanting to provide a DNA sample or to have DNA banked.

Conclusion: We found stronger relationships between sociodemographic variables of age and ethnicity with participation in genetic testing than we did between level of educational attainment, gender, function, cognition, and affect.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Patient Participation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Primary Health Care*


  • Apolipoproteins E