a1 Institute of Clinical Medicine, Family Medicine, Lemminkäisenkatu 1, FI-20014 University of Turku, Turku, Finland
a2 Härkätie Health Centre, Lieto, Finland
a3 Laboratory of Atherosclerosis Genetics, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Centre for Laboratory Medicine, Tampere University Hospital and University of Tampere Medical School, Tampere, Finland
a4 Institute of Clinical Medicine, Biostatistics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
a5 Satakunta Central Hospital, Pori, Finland
a6 Unit of Family Medicine, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
Objective To compare serum lipids and their changes during a family-based health education in children aged 6–17 years with or without the 4 allele of the gene encoding apolipoprotein E (apoE).
Design An intervention study.
Setting A family-based prevention of risk factors of coronary heart disease in Eastern Finland. The programme consisted of two counselling meetings at children's schools and three at children's homes.
Subjects Four hundred and thirty-nine children with a family history of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) participated in a family-based health education. The children were divided into two groups according to apoE genotype. The risk group consisted of 143 children having apoE 4 allele (genotype 3/4 or 4/4) and the non-risk group of 296 children without apoE 4 allele (2/3 or 3/3). The final sample of the follow-up study included 354 (81%) children (114 and 240, respectively).
Results Baseline differences were found in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) (P = 0.007) and LDL-C/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) ratio (P = 0.030) among boys and in total cholesterol (TC)/HDL-C (P = 0.008) and LDL-C/HDL-C ratios (P = 0.006) among girls. Differences between groups in changes during the follow-up were observed only for TC/HDL-C ratio (P-value adjusted for age = 0.049) among boys.
Conclusions At baseline, children with apoE 4 allele had on average a more unfavourable lipid profile than those without apoE 4 allele. However, the effect of about 33 months' family-based health education on plasma lipids did not depend on apoE genotype in children with a family history of CVD.
(Received May 23 2005)
(Accepted January 12 2006)