Associations between APOE variants and metabolic traits and the impact of psychological stress.
OBJECTIVE: In a previous study, we observed that associations between APOE rs439401 and metabolic traits were moderated by chronic stress. Thus, in a population of stressed and non-stressed Danish men, we examined whether associations between APOE rs439401 and a panel of metabolic quantitative traits, all metabolic traits which may lead to T2D and CVD were moderated by psychological stress. METHODS: Obese young men (n = 475, BMI ≥ 31.0 kg/m(2)) and a randomly selected control group (n = 709) identified from a population of 141,800 men were re-examined in two surveys (S-46: mean age 46, S-49: mean age 49 years) where anthropometric and biochemical measures were available. Psychological stress factors were assessed by a self-administered 7-item questionnaire. Each item had the possible response categories "yes" and "no" and assessed familial problems and conflicts. Summing positive responses constituted a stress item score, which was then dichotomized into stressed and non-stressed. Logistic regression analysis, applying a recessive genetic model, was used to assess odds ratios (OR) of the associations between APOE rs439401 genotypes and adverse levels of metabolic traits. RESULTS: The APOE rs439401 TT-genotype associated positively with BMI (OR = 1.09 [1.01; 1.17]), waist circumference (OR = 1.09 [1.02; 1.17]) in stressed men at S-46. Positive associations were observed for fasting plasma glucose (OR = 1.42 [1.07; 1.87]), serum triglycerides (OR = 1.41 [1.05; 1.91]) and with fasting plasma insulin (OR = 1.48 [1.05; 2.08]) in stressed men at S-49. Rs439401 TT-genotype also associated positively with surrogate measures of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR; OR = 1.21 [1.03; 1.41]) and inversely with insulin sensitivity (Stumvoll index; OR = 0.90 [0.82; 0.99], BIGTT-S(I); OR = 0.60 [0.43; 0.85]) in stressed men. No significant associations were observed in non-stressed men, albeit the estimates showed similar but weaker trends as in stressed men. CONCLUSION: The present results suggest that the APOE rs439401 TT-genotype is associated with an adverse metabolic profile in a population of psychologically stressed Danish men.
Iqbal Kring, SI; Barefoot, J; Brummett, BH; Boyle, SH; Siegler, IC; Toubro, S; Hansen, T; Astrup, A; Pedersen, O; Williams, RB; Sørensen, TIA
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