Apolipoprotein E Genotype Modifies the Association Between Cardiac Output and Cognition in Older Adults

Corey W. Bown, Dandan Liu, Katie E. Osborn, Deepak K. Gupta, Lisa A. Mendes, Kimberly R. Pechman, Timothy J. Hohman, Thomas J. Wang, Katherine A. Gifford, Angela L. Jefferson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Subtle reductions in cardiac output relate to lower cerebral blood flow, especially in regions where Alzheimer's disease pathology first develops. Apolipoprotein E (APOE)-ε4 is a genetic susceptibility risk factor for Alzheimer's disease that also moderates vascular damage. This study investigated whether APOE-ε4 carrier status modifies the cross-sectional association between cardiac output and cognition. Methods and Results: Vanderbilt Memory & Aging Project participants free of clinical stroke and dementia (n=306, 73±7 years, 42% female) underwent echocardiography to determine cardiac output (L/min), comprehensive neuropsychological assessment, and venous blood draw to determine APOE genotype and ε4 carrier status. Linear regressions related cardiac output to neuropsychological test performance, adjusting for age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, body surface area, cognitive diagnosis, Framingham Stroke Risk Profile, and APOE-ε4 status. Main effect models were null (P>0.19). With identical covariates, models were repeated testing a cardiac output×APOE-ε4 status interaction and again stratified by ε4 carrier status. Cardiac output×APOE-ε4 status related to naming (β=0.91, P=0.0009), category fluency (β=1.2, P=0.01), information processing speed (β=−5.4, P=0.001), visuospatial skill (β=0.85, P=0.003), and executive function performances (β=0.22, P=0.002). Stratified models suggested that lower cardiac output was associated with worse neuropsychological performances among APOE-ε4 carriers. Conclusions: APOE-ε4 carrier status appears to modify the cross-sectional association between cardiac output and neuropsychological performance such that lower cardiac output relates to poorer performances among carriers of the ε4 allele. These findings add to increasing evidence that APOE-ε4 carrier status has important implications for associations between vascular and brain health in aging adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere011146
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 6 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • apolipoprotein E ε4
  • cardiac output
  • cognition
  • vascular risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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