The serotonin transporter gene promoter region polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) has been linked to psychiatric disorders, mostly anxiety and affective disorders. In elderly populations 5-HTTLPR polymorphism has also been reported to be associated with serum lipid levels. We have examined the interaction of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism and the markers of lipid metabolism at young age in a longitudinal, population-representative cohort study. The sample of the Estonian Children Personality Behaviour and Health Study (initially cohorts of 9 and 15 year old children, complete lipid and genotype data for n=1176) was examined throughout 10 years. Subjects were genotyped and the levels of low-density lipoproteins, high-density lipoproteins, triglycerides, and total cholesterol were measured. Children and adolescents carrying the s allele of the 5-HTTLPR polymorphism had lower levels of low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol. At the age of 25, the s allele carriers had higher levels of high-density lipoproteins. These associations were independent of gender. Thus the 5-HTTLPR can be associated with the serum lipid levels and in particular low-density lipoproteins already in a young age.
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