Apolipoprotein E ε4 allele effects on longitudinal cognitive trajectories are sex and age dependent.
Williams OA., An Y., Armstrong NM., Shafer AT., Helphrey J., Kitner-Triolo M., Ferrucci L., Resnick SM.
INTRODUCTION: Questions remain about whether apolipoprotein E (APOE)-ε4 effects on cognitive decline are similar in men and women and how APOE-ε4 and age interact to influence decline in different cognitive domains. METHODS: In sex-stratified analyses, baseline age-dependent associations between APOE-ε4 status and longitudinal cognitive trajectories were examined in cognitively normal Caucasian older adults (631 men, 561 women, baseline age range: 50-93, 6733 assessments). RESULTS: In men, older baseline age was associated with greater effects of APOE-ε4 on longitudinal decline in memory and executive function, detectible from baseline age of 64 and 68, respectively. In women, older baseline age was associated with greater APOE-ε4 effects on longitudinal decline in attention, detectible at baseline age of 66. No significant APOE-ε4 effects were found for language, visual-spatial ability, or processing speed. DISCUSSION: Results highlight the importance of considering sex and age when assessing APOE-ε4-associated vulnerability to cognitive decline.