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Apolipoprotein E gene polymorphism and its effect on anthropometric measures in normoglycemic subjects and type 2 diabetes

Ozra Tabatabaei-Malazy1, Hossein Fakhrzadeh1, Mostafa Qorbani12, Parvin Amiri1, Bagher Larijani1, Javad Tavakkoly-Bazzaz13 and Mahsa M Amoli1*

Author Affiliations

1 Endocrinology and Metabolism Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Medical Genetics, School of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

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Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders 2012, 11:18  doi:10.1186/2251-6581-11-18

Published: 8 October 2012



Apolipoprotein E (apo E) plays a major role in lipid metabolism, obesity and accordingly in development of diabetes and coronary heart disease (CHD). Our main objective was to evaluate the association between apo E gene polymorphism with anthropometric measures.


Participants were selected from zone 17 Tehran/Iran. We assessed height, weight, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), blood pressure, serum fasting blood sugar, total cholesterol and triglycerides. Genotyping for apo E gene polymorphism was carried out using PCR-RFLP technique.


Among total study population (n=311), 156 subjects were diabetic. The apo E3/E3 was the most common genotype in our population while E2 and E4 alleles had lower frequencies, respectively. After adjustment for diabetes, the apo E2 and E4 alleles were significantly associated with hypercholesterolemia and WC, respectively (p= 0.009, 0.034). This association was also related to sex and age. The probability of having abdominal obesity in E4 allele carriers was increased from 0.22 to 8.12 in women and to 3.08 in age ≥ 50 years.


Apo E polymorphism had significant influences on WC and total cholesterol level in patients with type 2 diabetes. This study highlights the importance of lifestyle modifications which may be more beneficial in hypercholesterolemic women carriers of E2 and E4 alleles concomitant central obesity.

Apolipoprotein E; Gender; Obesity; Diabetes mellitus; Lipid