APOE genotype and nonrespiratory sleep parameters in cognitively intact older adults

Adam P. Spira, Yang An, Yu Peng, Mark N. Wu, Eleanor M. Simonsick, Luigi Ferrucci, Susan M. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Study Objectives: The apolipoprotein E (APOE) ϵ4 allele increases Alzheimer's disease (AD) risk and has been linked to a greater risk of sleep-disordered breathing. We investigated the association of APOE genotype with nonrespiratory sleep parameters. Methods: We studied 1264 cognitively normal participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (mean = 57.5 ± 16.1 years, range 19.9-92.0, 48.2% women, 19.8% African American) with APOE genotyping and self-reported sleep duration (≥9, 7 or 8, ≤6 hours), difficulty falling/staying asleep, and napping. We compared ϵ4 carriers with all noncarriers and compared persons at reduced (ϵ2/ϵ2 or ϵ2/ϵ3) or elevated AD risk (≥1 ϵ4 allele) with those neutral for AD risk (ϵ3/ϵ3). Results: In fully adjusted models, those with ≥1 ϵ4 allele had a greater odds of being in a shorter sleep duration category compared to all noncarriers (odds ratio [OR] = 1.41, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.06, 1.88) and ϵ3/ϵ3 carriers (OR = 1.43, 95% CI 1.06, 1.92). Compared to ϵ3/ϵ3 carriers, ϵ2/ϵ2 or ϵ2/ϵ3 carriers had a lower odds of reporting napping (OR = 0.64, 95% CI 0.43, 0.96). Among participants aged ≥50 years, sleep duration findings remained and ϵ4 carriers had a greater odds of trouble falling/staying asleep than noncarriers (OR = 1.49, 95% CI 1.02, 2.17). We found some evidence for stronger associations of ϵ4 with sleep duration among African Americans. Conclusions: Self-reported sleep duration, napping, and trouble falling/staying asleep differ by APOE genotype. Studies are needed to examine whether APOE promotes AD by degrading sleep and to clarify the role of race in these associations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • APOE
  • Genotype
  • Napping
  • Older adults
  • Sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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