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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Apolipoprotein E Gene Polymorphisms Are Not Associated with Diabetic Retinopathy: the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study

Authors
item Liew, Gerald - UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
item Shankar, Anoop - NAT. UNIV. OF SINGAPORE
item Wang, Jie - UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
item Klein, Ronald - UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN
item Bray, Molly
item Couper, David - UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROL
item Wong, Tien - NAT. UNIV. OF SINGAPORE

Submitted to: Trade Journal Publication
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 11, 2006
Publication Date: July 2, 2006
Citation: Liew, G., Shankar, A., Wang, J.J., Klein, R., Bray, M.S., Couper, D.J., Wong, T.Y. 2006. Apolipoprotein E gene polymorphisms are not associated with diabetic retinopathy: The atherosclerosis risk in communities study. American Journal of Opthalmology. 142:105-111.

Interpretive Summary: We studied whether variation in the DNA sequence of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene was associated with diabetic retinopathy, a disease of the eyes associated with the development of diabetes. We studied 1,398 people aged 49 to 73 years with diabetes selected from four United States communities. We performed photography of the eye on one randomly selected eye and graded for the presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy. APOE gene variation was not associated with diabetic retinopathy in either Caucasians or African-Americans, but in African-Americans, one form of the gene was associated with hard fluids in the eye. These results suggest that APOE gene polymorphisms are not associated with diabetic retinopathy in either Caucasians or African-Americans with type 2 diabetes.

Technical Abstract: PURPOSE: Polymorphism of the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene has been associated with dyslipidemia and cardiovascular disease. This study examines the association of APOE polymorphisms and diabetic retinopathy. DESIGN: Population-based cross-sectional study. METHODS: We studied 1,398 people aged 49 to 73 years with diabetes selected from four United States communities. We performed retinal photography on one randomly selected eye and graded for the presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy using a modification of the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study scale. We performed genotyping of common polymorphic APOE alleles using polymerase chain reaction on genomic DNA from venous blood leukocytes. RESULTS: The prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and hard exudates was 15.0% and 5.3% in Caucasians (n = 935), and 24.6% and 9.7% in African-Americans (n = 463), with type 2 diabetes. APOE gene polymorphisms were not associated with diabetic retinopathy in either Caucasians or African-Americans. In African-Americans, the epsilon 2/epsilon 4 genotype (n = 6) was associated with increased prevalence of hard exudates (odds ratio [OR] 4.10, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.30 to 12.90), as was the epsilon 2/epsilon 3 genotype (n = 9, OR 2.64, 95% CI 1.01 to 6.95). No association between APOE genotypes and hard exudates was found in Caucasians. CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that APOE gene polymorphisms are not associated with diabetic retinopathy in either Caucasians or African-Americans with type 2 diabetes.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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