Sex differences in the association of the apolipoprotein E epsilon 4 allele with incidence of dementia, cognitive impairment, and decline.
We examined longitudinal associations between the apolipoprotein E ε4 allele (ApoE4(+) status) and several cognitive outcomes and tested effect modification by sex. Data on 644 non-Hispanic Caucasian adults, from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) were used. Dementia onset, cognitive impairment and decline were assessed longitudinally. After 27.5 years median follow-up, 113 participants developed dementia. ApoE4(+) predicted dementia significantly (hazard ratio [HR] = 2.89; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.93-4.33), with nonsignificant sex differences. Taking all time points for predicting cognition, women had significantly stronger positive associations than men between ApoE4(+) status and impairment or decline on the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT; delayed recall and List A total recall) and on Verbal Fluency Test-Categories. This ApoE4 × sex interaction remained significant with Bonferroni correction only for CVLT-delayed recall. Taking time points prior to dementia for cognitive predictions, the positive association between impairment in CVLT-delayed recall and ApoE4(+) status remained stronger among women, though only before Bonferroni correction. While ApoE4(+) status appears to be a sex neutral risk factor for dementia, its association with verbal memory and learning decline and impairment was stronger among women.
Beydoun, MA; Boueiz, A; Abougergi, MS; Kitner-Triolo, MH; Beydoun, HA; Resnick, SM; O'Brien, R; Zonderman, AB
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