Apolipoprotein E Genotype Frequency Patterns in Aged Danes as Revealed by Logistic Regression Models

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Although the ApoE gene has been intensively studied in aging research, most of the studies conducted so far have been based on the traditional case–control design with subjects consisting of young controls and long-lived cases. The genotype frequency pattern in and between the two age-groups has been rarely investigated due to limitations in either research design or data analytical method. In this study, we genotyped 748 individuals (including both twin pairs and unrelated individuals) aged from 73 to 95 with aim at examining the genotype frequency trajectory of ApoE gene at high ages. Binomial and multinomial logistic regression models have been applied to model the gene frequency as a function of age and to investigate the modes of gene function (dominant, recessive, additive). The generalized estimation equations (GEEs) are introduced to account for the intra-pair genotype correlation in the twin pairs included in the data. Both the observed and the fitted frequencies show a constantly declining pattern of ApoE ε4 allele as age advances indicating a significant and steadily deleterious effect of the dominant allele that increases the hazard of death at high ages.

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