4 years ago

Interaction of APOE e4 and poor glycemic control predicts white matter hyperintensity growth from 73 to 76

We examined whether apolipoprotein E (APOE) status interacts with vascular risk factors (VRFs) to predict the progression of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) on brain MRI scans over a specific period of life in older age when the risk of dementia increases. At age 73 years, baseline VRFs were assessed via self-reported history of diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and hypercholesterolemia, and via objective measures of blood HbA1c, body mass index, diastolic and systolic blood pressure, and blood high-density lipoprotein to total cholesterol (HDL) ratio. APOE e4 allele was coded as either present or absent. WMH progression was measured on MRI over 3 years in 434 older adults, in a same-year-of-birth cohort. APOE e4 carriers with either a self-reported diagnosis of diabetes (β = 0.160, p = 0.002) or higher glycated hemoglobin levels (β = 0.114, p = 0.014) exhibited greater WMH progression, and the former survived correction for multiple testing. All other APOE-VRF interactions were nonsignificant (β interaction < 0.056, p > 0.228). The results suggest that carrying the APOE “risk” e4 allele increases the risk of greater age-related WMH progression over the early part of the eighth decade of life, when combined with poorer glycemic control. The interaction effect was robust to co-occurring VRFs, suggesting a possible target for mitigating brain and cognitive aging at this age.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0197458017300581

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