It's important to note that this data applies only to those of European ancestry. The rates of other ethnic groups are different. I saw one study showing, for example, that the rate of epsilon 4 prevalence is much, much higher among Australian aboriginal populations.
I recently sent in a saliva specimen to 23andMe.com to have their CLIA-approved lab run a genetic profile on me, which will include a report on my ApoE status. The service has dramatically decreased in price in recent years, so I finally broke down made the purchase. I'll report those results when I get them next month.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Population prevalence of the ApoE4 gene
Regarding the Alzheimer genotype, I just did a little research regarding the prevalence of the ApoE epsilon 4 allele (the allele that predisposes to Alzheimer disease). Depending on the study you read, about 20% of the population has at least one epsilon 4 allele, while about 2% have two epsilon 4 alleles. As you'd expect, having two is worse than having one in terms of Alzheimer risk. I should add that the epsilon 4 allele also predisposes to a worse outcome in recovery from traumatic brain injury and is also over-represented among those football players who suffer from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.