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Apolipoproteins and HDL cholesterol do not associate with the risk of future dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: the National Finnish population study (FINRISK)


Data on associations of apolipoproteins A-I and B (apo A-I, apo B) and HDL cholesterol (HDL-C) with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are conflicting. Our aim was to examine, whether apo B, apoA-I, their ratio, or HDL-C are significant, independent predictors of incident dementia and AD in the general population free of dementia at baseline. We analyzed the results from two Finnish prospective population-based cohort studies in a total of 13,275 subjects aged 25 to 74 years with mainly Caucasian ethnicity. The follow-up time for both cohorts was 10 years. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to evaluate hazard ratios (HR) for incident dementia (including AD) (n = 220) and for AD (n = 154). Cumulative incidence function (CIF) analysis was also performed to adjust the results for competing risks of death. Adjusted for multiple dementia and AD risk factors, log-transformed apo A-I, log HDL-C, log apo B, and log apo B/A-I ratio were not associated with incident dementia or AD. HDL-C was inversely associated with AD risk when adjusted for competing risks but no other statistically significant associations were observed in the CIF analyses. Apo A-I, HDL-C, apo B, or apo B/A-I ratio were not associated with future dementia or AD. HDL-C was inversely associated with incident AD risk when adjusted for competing risks of death, but the finding is unlikely to be of clinical relevance. Our study does not support the use of these risk markers to predict incident dementia or AD.

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Salomaa V. was supported by the Finnish Foundation for Cardiovascular Research. Tynkkynen J. was supported by the University of Eastern Finland to conduct this paper as part of his doctoral thesis. None of the funders had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis, and interpretation of the data; preparation, review, or approval of the manuscript; or decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

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Correspondence to Juho Tynkkynen.

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Tynkkynen, J., Hernesniemi, J.A., Laatikainen, T. et al. Apolipoproteins and HDL cholesterol do not associate with the risk of future dementia and Alzheimer’s disease: the National Finnish population study (FINRISK). AGE 38, 465–473 (2016).

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  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • Apolipoprotein B
  • HDL-C
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Prospective
  • ApoE genotype