Epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between apolipoprotein E (ApoE) gene polymorphism and coronary artery disease (CAD) risk which developed inconsistent conclusions. To derive a more precise estimation of the relationship in Chinese population, we performed this meta-analysis.
Databases, including PubMed, EMbase, Web of Science, CBMdisc and CNKI, were searched to get the genetic association studies. Additionally, hand searching of the references of identified articles were performed. All the statistical tests were performed using Review Manager 5.1.2 and Stata 11.0.
We identified a total of 40 studies, including 4,564 CAD cases and 3,985 controls. The results showed evidence for significant association between ApoE ε4 allele and CAD risk (for ε2/ε4 vs. ε3/ε3: OR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.42-2.43, p<0.00001; for ε3/ε4 vs. ε3/ε3: OR = 2.34, 95% CI = 2.07-2.65, p<0.00001; for ε4/ε4 vs. ε3/ε3: OR = 2.89, 95% CI = 1.87-4.47, p<0.00001; for ε4 allele vs. ε3 allele: OR = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.91-2.35, p<0.00001).
The present meta-analysis suggests an association between ApoE ε4 allele and increased risk of CAD in Chinese population. However, due to the small sample size in most of the included studies and the selection bias existed in some studies, the results should be interpreted with caution.