Introduction: Apolipoprotein E (APOE) status may modify the risk of postoperative delirium conferred by inflammation.
Methods: We tested whether APOE modifies the established association between C-reactive protein (CRP) and delirium incidence, severity, and duration in 553 noncardiac surgical patients aged 70 and older. High postoperative plasma CRP (≥234.12 mg/L) was defined by the highest sample-based quartile. Delirium was determined using the Confusion Assessment Method and chart review, and severity was determined by the Confusion Assessment Method-Severity score.
Results: APOE ε4 carrier prevalence was 19%, and postoperative delirium occurred in 24%. The relationship between CRP and delirium incidence, severity, and duration differed by ε4 status. Among ε4 carriers, there was a strong relationship between high CRP (vs. low CRP) and delirium incidence (relative risk [95% confidence interval], 3.0 [1.4-6.7]); however, no significant association was observed among non-ε4 carriers (relative risk [95% CI], 1.2 [0.8-1.7]).
Discussion: Our findings raise the possibility that APOE ε4 carrier status may modify the relationship between postoperative day 2 CRP levels and postoperative delirium.
Keywords: Apolipoprotein E; C-reactive protein; Delirium; Gene-protein interaction; Inflammation.
© 2019 the Alzheimer's Association.