The apolipoprotein E epsilon4 allele and incident Alzheimer's disease in persons with mild cognitive impairment

Neurocase. 2005 Feb;11(1):3-7. doi: 10.1080/13554790490903038.


Possession of one or more copies of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) epsilon4 allele is a known risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD), but it is uncertain whether the epsilon4 allele is associated with disease incidence among persons with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). We addressed this issue with data from the Religious Orders Study. Participants were 181 older Catholic clergy members who met criteria for MCI based on a uniform structured clinical evaluation; 56 (30.9%) had at least one epsilon4 allele. Clinical evaluations, which included clinical classification of dementia and AD, were repeated annually. During a mean of 5.7 years of observation, 79 persons (43.6%) developed AD. In a proportional hazards model that controlled for age, sex, and education, possession of an epsilon4 allele was associated with a 93% increase in the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (95% CI; 1.02, 2.63). There was a marginally significant reduction in the effect of epsilon4 in older compared to younger participants (p=.053). The results suggest that possession of an epsilon4 allele does increase risk of AD in persons with MCI.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics*
  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Clergy
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Cognition Disorders / genetics*
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors


  • Apolipoprotein E4
  • Apolipoproteins E