There are three common APOE alleles, known as e2, e3 and e4, which differ at two specific locations in the gene sequence. The cardiovascular disease (APOE) DNA test examines the gene sequence to determine which alleles an individual has.
Alleles of APOE
Each person inherits one APOE allele from each parent, so there are six possible combinations of the three common APOE alleles (e2/e2, e2/e3, e2/e4, e3/e3, e3/e4, e4/e4). The cardiovascular disease APOE DNA test identifies the alleles for each person tested and indicates whether or not there is an increased risk of elevated LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides, hyperlipoproteinemia type III, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
The APOE e2 allele is relatively rare (present in 8.4% of the population). Individuals who have two copies of this allele are at an increased risk of developing hyperlipoproteinemia type III, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
APOE e3 is the most common allele (77.9%) and is not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
The APOE e4 allele increases the risk of elevated LDL-cholesterol and is present in 13.7% of the population.
Alzheimer’s Disease DNA Test Specifications
None. This test can be taken at any age.
Buccal swabs. The test kit contains buccal swabs and instructions for collecting a buccal swab sample from inside the mouth.
Four buccal swabs, rubbed inside the mouth against the cheek for 15 seconds.
1 – 2 weeks.
Laboratory specimens are analyzed using sequence-based typing to detect the presence of three APOE alleles. Analytical specificity and sensitivity for detection of these alleles are >99%. Other alleles not listed are not detected.
This DNA test kit does not have an expiry date and can be used at any time. Once the DNA sample is collected, it must be returned to the laboratory for testing within three months of collection. No refrigeration is required. Store at room temperature.
It is important to remember that the presence of two APOE e2 does not mean that an individual will definitely develop hyperlipoproteinemia type III, nor does the presence of one or two APOE e4 alleles mean that a person will definitely have elevated LDL-cholesterol levels. There are several other factors, both genetic and environmental, that contribute to these disorders. These other factors will not be identified in this DNA test.
Next, Understanding Your Cardiovascular Disease APOE DNA Test Results »