IQ, educational attainment, memory and plasma lipids: associations with apolipoprotein E genotype in 5995 children

AEC Taylor, PAI Guthrie, G Davey Smith, Jean Golding (nee Fedrick), N Sattar, AD Hingorani, JE Deanfield, INM Day

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype (ε2/ε3/ε4: rs429358 ε4 allele; rs7412 ε2 allele) is strongly associated with both lipid levels and Alzheimer's disease. Although there is also evidence of milder cognitive impairment in later life in carriers of the APOE ε4 allele, there have been few studies investigating the impact of APOE genotype on cognitive function in children. Methods We determined APOE genotype in 5995 children from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and investigated associations between APOE genotype and plasma lipids (at age 9), IQ (at age 8), memory (at ages 8 and 10), and performance in school attainment tests (at ages 7, 11, and 14). Results Observed genotype group counts were consistent with Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium (χ2 p value = .84). There were strong relationships between APOE genotype and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglycerides, which follow the same patterns as in adults. There was no strong evidence to suggest that APOE genotype was associated with IQ (all p values ≥ .46), memory function (p ≥ .35), or school attainment test results (p ≥ .28). Conclusion Although APOE genotype does have strong associations with lipid levels in childhood, there does not seem to be meaningful effects on cognitive performance, suggesting that any detrimental effects of the ε4 allele on cognitive function are not important until later life.
Translated title of the contributionIQ, education attainment, memory and plasma lipids: association with apolipoprotein E genotype in 5995 children
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)152 - 158
Number of pages7
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2011

Bibliographical note

Other identifier: Biological Psychiatry


  • IQ, APOE, children, cognitive function, lipids, memory


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