Interaction between apolipoprotein E genotype and hypertension on cognitive function in older women in the Nurses' Health Study.
Kim IY., Grodstein F., Kraft P., Curhan GC., Hughes KC., Huang H., Kang JH., Hunter DJ.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the interaction between APOE genotypes and both treated and untreated hypertension on cognitive function in an updated analysis of Nurses' Health Study (NHS) data. DESIGN: At baseline (1995-2001) and 3 biennial follow-up assessments over ~6 years, cognitive function was assessed. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: 8300 NHS participants aged 70+ years underwent a cognitive battery, which comprised 6 tests including the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS) and tests of verbal memory, category fluency, and working memory. MEASURES: We estimated the mean differences in average cognitive scores across up to 4 assessments using multiple linear regression. We also tested for interaction between APOE e4 allele carrier status and hypertension overall, as well as for apparently untreated and treated hypertension. RESULTS: We confirmed that, compared with those with APOE e3/3 genotype, APOE e4 allele carriers scored lower by 0.55 units on the average TICS score (95%CI:-0.67,-0.43). We also observed a significantly worse average TICS score among women with untreated hypertension compared with women without hypertension (difference = -0.23, 95%CI:-0.37,-0.09), while no significant difference was observed for women with treated hypertension. Significant interaction was detected between the APOE e4 allele and untreated hypertension (p-int = 0.02 for the TICS; p-int = 0.045 for global score), but not with treated hypertension. Specifically, compared with normotensive women with the APOE e3/3 genotype, APOE e4 allele carriers with treated hypertension scored lower by 0.50 units (95%CI:-0.69,-0.31); however, the APOE e4 allele carriers with untreated hypertension scored lower by 1.02 units on the TICS score (95%CI:-1.29, -0.76). This interaction of APOE e4 and untreated hypertension was also consistently observed for the global score. CONCLUSIONS: Women with hypertension and at least one APOE e4 allele had worse average cognitive function compared with women without hypertension with the e3/3 genotype; this difference was amplified among APOE e4 allele carriers with untreated hypertension.