The most common apolipoprotein E (apoE) gene polymorphism has been found to influence plasma lipid concentration and its correlation with coronary artery disease (CAD) has been extensively investigated in the last decade. It is, however, unclear whether apoE gene polymorphism is also associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The knowledge of this study may provide the primary prevention for T2DM and CAD development before its initiation and progression. Therefore, this study was carried out to determine the association between apoE gene polymorphism and T2DM with and without CAD and its role in lipid metabolism.
The case-control study was carried out on a total of 451 samples including 149 normal control subjects, 155 subjects with T2DM, and 147 subjects with T2DM complicated with CAD. The apoE gene polymorphism was tested by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify the possible risks of T2DM and CAD.
A significantly increased frequency of E3/E4 genotype was observed only in T2DM with CAD group (p = 0.0004), whereas the ε4 allele was significantly higher in both T2DM (p = 0.047) and T2DM with CAD (p = 0.009) as compared with controls. E3/E4 genotype was also the independent risk in developing CAD after adjusting with established risk factors with adjusted odds ratio (OR) 2.52 (95%CI 1.28-4.97, p = 0.008). The independent predictor of individuals carrying ε4 allele still remained significantly associated with both CAD (adjusted OR 2.32, 95%CI 1.17-4.61, p = 0.016) and T2DM (adjusted OR 2.04, 95%CI 1.07-3.86, p = 0.029). After simultaneously examining the joint association of E3/E4 genotype combined with either obesity or smoking the risk increased to approximately 5-fold in T2DM (adjusted OR 4.93, 95%CI 1.74-13.98, p = 0.003) and 10-fold in CAD (adjusted OR 10.48, 95%CI 3.56-30.79, p < 0.0001). The association between apoE genotypes on plasma lipid levels was compared between E3/E3 as a reference and E4-bearing genotypes. E4-bearing genotypes showed lower HDL-C and higher VLDL-C and TG, whereas other values of plasma lipid concentrations showed no significant difference.
These results indicate that ε4 allele has influence on lipid profiles and is associated with the development of both T2DM with and without CAD, and furthermore, it increased the risk among the subjects with obesity and/or smoking, the conditions associated with high oxidative stress.