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Open Access Research article

Apolipoprotein E gene polymorphism is not a strong risk factor for diabetic nephropathy and retinopathy in Type I diabetes: case-control study

Natalia S Shcherbak

Author Affiliations

St.Petersburg State Medical University, Laboratory of Molecular Cardiology, L.Tolstoy St. 6/8, St.Petersburg, 197189, Russia

BMC Medical Genetics 2001, 2:8  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-2-8

Published: 24 July 2001



The gene encoding apolipoprotein E (APOE) has been proposed as a candidate gene for vascular complications in Type I diabetes. This study aimed to investigate the influence of three-allelic variations in the APOE gene for the development of diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy.


Neither APOE alleles frequencies or APOE genotypes frequencies differed between Type I diabetic groups either with or without nephropathy. Similar results were found for patients with and without diabetic retinopathy.


APOE gene polymorphism does not determine genetic susceptibility for the development of diabetic retinopathy in Type I diabetes patients. Association between APOE gene polymorphism and diabetic nephropathy may be weak or moderate, but not strong.