It has been suggested that the threonine (Thr) 54 allele of the intestinal fatty acid binding protein 2 (FABP2) gene is associated with insulin resistance and affects the fatty acid composition of serum lipids. Our aim was to investigate the frequency of the alanine (Ala) 54Thr polymorphism of the FABP2 gene in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD), and the association between the polymorphism and the markers of metabolic syndrome, serum lipid levels and the fatty acid profile of serum lipids.
A total of 414 CHD patients (mean age 61 years, range 33-74) participated in the cross-sectional EUROASPIRE (European Action on Secondary Prevention through Intervention to Reduce Events) Study. Markers of metabolic syndrome included fasting plasma glucose concentration, serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides (TG), waist circumference, the waist/hip ratio, body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure (BP). The frequency of the Thr54 allele was similar in the CHD patients (27.2%) and control subjects from two independent studies (27.8% and 28.7%). There were no significant differences in plasma glucose, serum lipids, BP, BMI, waist circumference or waist/hip ratio among the genotypes. Genotype frequency was not associated with the prevalence of diabetes or metabolic syndrome, but metabolic syndrome (as defined by National Cholesterol Education Program criteria) tended to be more frequent in subjects with the Thr/Thr genotype (p = 0.095). There were no differences in the fatty acid profiles of serum cholesteryl esters, TG or phospholipids among the genotypes.
The Ala54Thr polymorphism of the FABP2 gene is not associated with CHD, markers of the metabolic syndrome, or the fatty acid profile of serum lipids in Finnish CHD patients.