Evidence for a contribution of the APOE (but not the ACE) gene to the sleep profile of non-demented elderly adults

Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet. 2019 Aug 15;10(4):59-66. eCollection 2019.


This study aims to investigate alleles of the human apolipoprotein E (APOE) and of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) genes as risk factors for poor quality of sleep in elderly individuals with no major cognitive decline. This cross-sectional, analytical study was conducted with 163 participants aged 75 years in average and 85% female. Sociodemographic, anthropometric and clinical data were gathered, and sleep quality was assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and the Epworth scale, with patient followed for years prior to these evaluations to rule out onset of major mental disorders. Genotyping of classic polymorphic sites for the ApoE (rs429358 and rs7412) and the ACE (rs4646994) genes used peripheral DNA. A total of 63% of the subjects reported poor quality of sleep assessed by the PSQI whereas 54 (33%) reported daytime sleepiness through the Epworth scale. A significant correlation was observed between APOE and PSQI, with a greater frequency of the poor nighttime sleep quality phenotype among ε2 carriers, whereas no correlation was found among any of the sleep scores and the ACE genotypes. Thus, we suggest a correlation between APOE alleles and scale-assessed sleep quality scores in older adults, with no implications for ACE alleles, in a context devoid of cognitive impairment.

Keywords: Apolipoprotein; cognition disorders; genotyping; older adults; sleep.