Yiqing Song, MD; Meir J. Stampfer, MD, DrPH; Simin Liu, MD, ScD
Acknowledgments: The authors thank Sharon-Lise Normand, PhD, from the Department of Biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health, and Jun S. Liu, PhD, from the Department of Statistics, Harvard University, for their assistance in choosing a proper prior distribution and building the Bayesian hierarchical meta-analysis model.
Grant Support: By the National Institutes of Health (grants DK62290 and HL26490).
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: Simin Liu, MD, ScD, Division of Preventive Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, 900 Commonwealth Avenue East, Boston, MA 02215; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Song and Liu: Division of Preventive Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, 900 Commonwealth Avenue East, Boston, MA 02215.
Dr. Stampfer: Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Kresge Building, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.
Apolipoprotein E (apoE) genotypes play critical roles in lipid metabolism and are believed to influence risk for coronary heart disease (CHD). Despite many population studies, however, the impact of apoE polymorphism on risk for CHD remains uncertain.
To qualitatively and quantitatively assess the evidence regarding the relation of apoE polymorphism to CHD risk.
All relevant reports and references from original and review papers published from 1966 to January 2004.
Predefined criteria were used to identify 48 relevant studies.
A summary database that contained variables of study design, study sample and ethnicity, sex, apoE genotypes, CHD end points, plasma lipid levels, and other CHD risk factors was developed.
The authors qualitatively evaluated many potential sources of heterogeneity. To quantify the extent of heterogeneity and assess the consistency of apoE–CHD associations, stratified analyses were conducted using the classic random-effects model. To further incorporate uncertainty due to between-study variation, the pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% credible intervals (CrIs) were estimated by using a Bayesian hierarchical model. Finally, the robustness of the pooled estimates was tested in multiple sensitivity analyses. Compared with individuals with the ϵ3/3 genotype, carriers of the apoE ϵ4 allele had a 42% higher risk for CHD (OR, 1.42 [95% CrI, 1.26 to 1.61]). The ϵ2 allele had no significant association with CHD risk (OR, 0.98 [CrI, 0.66 to 1.46]).
This meta-analysis did not include unpublished data or studies published in languages other than English.
Inadequate statistical power, differences in geographic and ethnic background, allele frequency, sex, CHD phenotypes, study design, and potential gene–environment interactions may have contributed to the conflicting results of previous studies. The apoE ϵ4 allele is a significant risk factor for CHD.
Song Y, Stampfer MJ, Liu S. Meta-Analysis: Apolipoprotein E Genotypes and Risk for Coronary Heart Disease. Ann Intern Med. ;141:137–147. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-141-2-200407200-00013
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(2):137-147.
Cardiology, Coronary Heart Disease, Coronary Risk Factors, Prevention/Screening.
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