To determine whether mutations in APOA1 affect levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and to predict risk of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) and total mortality in the general population.
Epidemiologically, risk of IHD is inversely related to HDL cholesterol levels. Mutations in apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, the major protein constituent of HDL, might be associated with low HDL cholesterol and predispose to IHD and early death.
We resequenced APOA1 in 190 individuals and examined the effect of mutations on HDL cholesterol, risk of IHD, myocardial infarction (MI) and mortality in 10 440 individuals in the prospective Copenhagen City Heart Study followed for 31 years. Results were validated in an independent case-control study (n = 16 035). Additionally, we determined plasma ratios of mutant to wildtype (WT) apoA-I in human heterozygotes and functional effects of mutations in adenovirus-transfected mice.
We identified a new mutation, A164S (1 : 500 in the general population), which predicted hazard ratios for IHD, MI and total mortality of 3.2 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6-6.5], 5.5 (95% CI: 2.6-11.7) and 2.5 (95% CI: 1.3-4.8), respectively, in heterozygotes compared with noncarriers. Mean reduction in survival time in heterozygotes was 10 years (P