Numerous studies have associated the apolipoprotein E (apoE) ε4 allele with worse health status, but few have assessed the existence of genotype-dependent variations in functional performance. Among participants in the Bambuí Health and Aging Study, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, 1,408 elderly underwent apoE genotyping. Functionality was assessed with a questionnaire, and individuals were classified as dependent in basic activities of daily living (BADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and mobility. The association between apoE genotype and functional status was assessed by logistic regression, taking confounding factors into account. Presence of ε4 allele was associated with lower odds of mobility deficit (OR = 0.65; 95%CI: 0.47-0.92) in the adjusted analysis. There were no significant differences in relation to presence of dependency in BADLs and IADLs. The reasons are not entirely understood, but they may involve the role of ε4 allele as a “thrifty gene” in a sample exposed to high risk of infectious and nutritional diseases in the past.
Apolipoprotein E4; Disabled Persons; Aged