Introduction: Cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disorders are among the major causes
of mortality in the developed countries. Population studies evaluate the genetic risk, i.e. the probability
of an individual carrying a specific disease-associated polymorphism. Identification of risk polymorphisms
is essential for an accurate diagnosis or prognosis of a number of pathologies.
Aims: The aim of this study was to characterize the influence of risk polymorphisms associated with
lipid metabolism, hypertension, thrombosis, and dementia, in a large population of Spanish individuals
affected by a variety of brain and vascular disorders as well as metabolic syndrome.
Material & Method: We performed a cross-sectional study on 4415 individuals from a widespread regional
distribution in Spain (48.15% males and 51.85% females), with mental, neurodegenerative,
cerebrovascular, and metabolic disorders. We evaluated polymorphisms in 20 genes involved in obesity,
vascular and cardiovascular risk, and dementia in our population and compared it with representative
Spanish and European populations. Risk polymorphisms in ACE, AGT(235), IL6(573), PSEN1,
and APOE (specially the APOE-ε4 allele) are representative of our population as compared to the reference
data of Spanish and European individuals.
Conclusion: The significantly higher distribution of risk polymorphisms in PSEN1 and APOE-ε4 is
characteristic of a representative number of patients with Alzheimer’s disease; whereas polymorphisms
in ACE, AGT(235), and IL6(573), are most probably related with the high number of patients
with metabolic syndrome or cerebrovascular damage.