Impact of apolipoprotein A5 variants on statin treatment efficacy

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Despite the fact that statin treatment efficacy is very high, there are substantial differences in treatment effectiveness among individuals. It is supposed that genetic predisposition plays an important role in these differences, but the contribution of individual polymorphisms is poorly understood. So far, more than 30 genes have been examined with ambiguous results. Apolipoprotein A5 is an important determinant of plasma lipid concentrations and its genetic variation could account for some of the observed differences in the response to statin therapy. However, this has not been analyzed before.

Materials and methods:

We examined the putative association between APOA5 SNPs (c.-1131T>C, c.56C>G and c.457G>A) and efficacy during 3 months of statin treatment in 187 adult Caucasians. Patients were treated with low-dose (10 or 20 mg per day) simvastatin (46.3%), atorvastatin (40.5%) and lovastatin (13.2%).


The decrease in cholesterol was not significantly associated with the type or dose of statin. Carriers of the APOA5 genotype TT-1131 (n = 154) benefited more from statin treatment when compared with the C-1131 allele carriers (n = 33) (Δ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: -36.3 ± 15.1% vs Δ low-density lipoprotein cholesterol: -29.9 ± 12.5%; p < 0.005, Mann-Whitney test). This result was independent of sex, age, BMI and APOE polymorphism.


Our results suggest that the APOA5 gene variants may play an important role in the pharmacogenetics of statin treatment.

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