Is There an Association between Temperament and Apolipoprotein E?
A Replication of a 1993 Young Finns Study
Aino M. Pitkänen, Päivi Merjonen, Liisa Keltikangas-Järvinen, Ilkka Seppälä, Terho Lehtimäki, Jorma Viikari, Olli T. Raitakari, Mirka Hintsanen
Department of Clinical Chemistry, Fimlab Laboratories, School of Medicine, University of Tampere, Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland.
Department of Medicine, University of Turku, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Institute of Behavioural Sciences, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Research Centre of Applied and Preventive Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Clinical Physiology and Nuclear Medicine, University of Turku, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
DOI: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.32020   PDF    HTML   XML   3,039 Downloads   5,133 Views  


Background: An association between apolipoprotein E (apoE) gene polymorphism and temperament has been found in the Young Finns cohort. Motor activity in childhood and mental vitality, sociability and positive emotionality in adolescence were associated with apoE. Two research groups have attempted to replicate these findings but no associations have been found. Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to confirm the original findings with new and more reliable genotyping from a larger sample derived from the same Young Finns Study as the original finding.Methods: The study included 2808 participants aged 3 - 18 years in 1980. The same methods in assessing temperament were used as in the original study. Temperament was operationalized as motor activity, cooperativeness, negative emotionality, mental vitality, sociability and positive emotionality. Temperament was assessed by participants’ mothers in 1980 and 1983 and self-rated in 1983 by adolescent participants. Results: Motor activity was not associated with apoE polymerphisms. All other previous results were replicated. Adolescents’ positive emotionality, mental vitality and sociability were associated with apoE. Conclusions: The results indicated that there is an association between temperament and apoE. The previous absence of association between temperament and apoE in the replication studies may be due to the fact that researchers used different dimensions of temperament and thus probably studied different phenomena. Cultural differences in personality assessment might also explain the contradictory findings.

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A. Pitkänen, P. Merjonen, L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, I. Seppälä, T. Lehtimäki, J. Viikari, O. Raitakari and M. Hintsanen, "Is There an Association between Temperament and Apolipoprotein E?
A Replication of a 1993 Young Finns Study
," Journal of Behavioral and Brain Science, Vol. 3 No. 2, 2013, pp. 194-199. doi: 10.4236/jbbs.2013.32020.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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