Is there any association of apolipoprotein E gene polymorphism with obesity status and lipid profiles? Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study (TLGS)

Gene. 2012 Nov 10;509(2):282-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gene.2012.07.048. Epub 2012 Aug 16.


Aims: Considering the key role played by the apolipoprotein E (Apo E) gene in the regulation of lipid metabolism and obesity, the current study has evaluate the association between abdominal obesity and Apo E gene polymorphism in a population of Tehran.

Materials and methods: A cross-sectional study was performed on 345 men and 498 women, aged 19-86 years, selected from among participants of the Tehran Lipid and Glucose Study. The RFLP-PCR technique was employed to investigate polymorphism in the gene fragments. Based on the national survey of risk factors for non-communicable diseases of Iran, waist circumference (WC) cut off was set at 89 cm for men and 91 cm for women. The risk effect of obesity related variables and lipid profiles in two groups of WC were examined by logistic regression. For body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR), high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), triglyceride (TG), fasting blood sugar (FBS), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), and blood pressure (BP), the standard risk cut-offs were applied.

Results: Frequencies of E2, E3, and E4 alleles were 9.7, 73, and 14.6%, respectively. The presence of the E3 allele was significantly associated with higher TG level in subjects with high WC, while, the presence of E4 allele decreased the plasma HDL-C (E2:52.1±13.1 vs., E3:48.9±11.2 vs., E4:44.6±10.6 mg/dl, p<0.05), HDL-C2 (E2:20.4±9.2 vs., E3:19.1±8.8 vs., E4:16.3±7.9 mg/dl, p<0.05), and HDL-C3 (E2:32.1±7.4 vs., E3:30.3±6.2 vs., E4:28.3±6.1 mg/dl, p<0.05) in normal WC subjects. The presence of the E3 carrier increased the risk of having higher plasma TG, compared with the E2 carrier (95% CI OR=1.91, 1.02-3.57; p=0.04).

Conclusion: According to the results of this study, the E3 carrier, caused an approximately 90% increase in the levels of TG in the group with abdominal obesity.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Alleles
  • Apolipoproteins E / genetics*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Iran / epidemiology
  • Lipids / analysis*
  • Male
  • Obesity / blood
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Obesity / genetics*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Triglycerides / metabolism


  • Apolipoproteins E
  • Lipids
  • Triglycerides
  • Glucose