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.
Cite this paper
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.
 Y. Song, M. J. Stampfer and S. Liu, “Meta-Analysis: Apolipo-protein E Genotypes and Risk for Coronary Heart Disease,” Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 141, No. 2, 2004, pp. 137-147.
 L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, K. Räikkönen and T. Lehtimäki, “Dependence between Apolipoprotein E Phenotypes and Temperament in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults,” Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 55, No. 2, 1993, pp. 155163.
 S. J. Tsai, Y. W. Yu and C. J. Hong, “Personality Traits in Young Female Apolipoprotein E (apoE) Epsilon4 and Non-Epsilon4 Carriers,” American Journal of Medical Genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric Genetics, Vol. 124, No. 1, 2004, pp. 58-60. doi:10.1002/ajmg.b.20052
 A. F. Jorm, M. Prior, A. Sanson, D. Smart, Y. Zhang, et al., “Apolipoprotein E Genotype and Temperament: A Longitudinal Study from Infancy to the Late Teens,” Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 65, No. 4, 2003, pp. 662-664.
 M. Rutter, J. Tizard and K. Whitmore, “Education, Health and Behaviour,” Longman, London, 1970.
 C. R. Cloninger, T. R. Przybeck and D. M. Svrakic, “The Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire: US Normative Data,” Psychological Reports, Vol. 69, No. 1, 1991, pp. 1047-1057.
 F. Pompanon, A. Bonin, E. Bellemain and P. Taberlet, “Genotyping Errors: Causes, Consequences and Solutions,” Nature Reviews Genetics, Vol. 6, No. 11, 2005, pp. 847859. doi:10.1038/nrg1707
 N. Ravaja and L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, “Temperament and Metabolic Syndrome Precursors in Children: A ThreeYear Follow-Up,” Preventive Medicine, Vol. 24, No. 5, 1995, pp. 518-527. doi:10.1006/pmed.1995.1082
 L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, L. Pulkki-Råback, S. Puttonen, J. Viikari and O. T. Raitakari, “Childhood Hyperactivity as a Predictor of Carotid Artery Intima Media Thickness over a Period of 21 Years: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study,” Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 68, No. 4, 2006, pp. 509-516.
 L. Pulkki-Råback, M. Elovainio, M. Kivimäki, O. T. Raitakari and L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, “Temperament in Childhood Predicts Body Mass in Adulthood: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study,” Health Psychology, Vol. 24, No. 3, 2005, pp. 307-315.
 A. M. Bennet, E. Di Angelantonio, Z. Ye, F. Wensley, A. Dahlin, et al., “Association of Apolipoprotein E Genotypes with Lipid Levels and Coronary Risk,” Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 298, No. 11, 2007, pp. 1300-1311. doi:10.1001/jama.298.11.1300
 H. K. Åkerblom, M. Uhari, E. Pesonen, M. Dahl, E. A. Kaprio, et al., “Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns,” Annals of Medicine, Vol. 23, No. 1, 1991, pp. 35-39.
 T. Lehtimäki, T. Moilanen, J. Viikari, H. K. Åkerblom, C. Ehnholm, et al., “Apolipoprotein E Phenotypes in Finnish Youths: A Cross-Sectional and 6-Year Follow-Up Study,” Journal of Lipid Research, Vol. 31, No. 3, 1990, pp. 487495.
 J. Roberts and J. T. Baird, “Behavior Patterns of Children in School,” Vital and Health Statistics, Vol. 11, No. 113, 1972.
 T. Makkonen, I. Ruoppila, T. Ränkä, S. Timonen, L. Valvanne, et al., “Operaatio Perhe-Isä ja Synnytys [“Operation Family” (Child Report no. A34)],” Mannerheim League of Child Welfare, Helsinki, Finland, 1981.
 A. Caspi, B. W. Roberts and R. L. Shiner, “Personality Development: Stability and Change,” Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 56, 2005, pp. 453-484.
 L. M. Gaias, K. Räikkönen, N. Komsi, M. A. Gartstein, P. A. Fisher, et al., “Cross-Cultural Temperamental Differences in Infants, Children, and Adults in the United States of America and Finland,” Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Vol. 53, No. 2, 2012, pp. 119-128.
 J. Miettunen, L. Kantojärvi, J. Veijola, M. R. Järvelin and M. Joukamaa, “International Comparison of Cloninger’s Temperament Dimensions,” Personality and Individual Differences, Vol. 41, No. 8, 2006, pp. 1515-1526.
 S. J. Heine, D. R. Lehman, K. Peng and J. Greenholtz, “What’s Wrong with Cross-Cultural Comparisons of Subjective Likert Scales? The Reference-Group Effect.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 82, No. 6, 2002, pp. 903-918. doi:10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1683
 M. Ross, S. J. Heine, A. E. Wilson and S. Sugimori, “CrossCultural Discrepancies in Self-Appraisals,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 9, 2005, pp. 1175-1188. doi:10.1177/0146167204274080
 M. R. Munafo, B. Yalcin, S. A. Willis-Owen and J. Flint, “Association of the Dopamine D4 Receptor (DRD4) Gene and Approach-Related Personality Traits: MetaAnalysis and New Data,” Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 63, No. 2, 2008, pp. 197-206.
 S. K. Service, K. J. H. Verweij, J. Lahti, E. Congdon, J. Ekelund, et al., “A Genome-Wide Meta-Analysis of Association Studies of Cloninger’s Temperament Scales,” Translational Psychiatry, Vol. 2, No. e116, 2012.
 A. Caspi, A. R. Hariri, A. Holmes, R. Uher and T. E. Moffitt, “Genetic Sensitivity to the Environment: The Case of the Serotonin Transporter Gene and its Implications for Studying Complex Diseases and Traits,” American Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 167, No. 5, 2010, pp. 509-527.
 M. Hintsanen, T. Hintsa, A. Widell, M. Kivimäki, O. T. Raitakari, et al., “Negative Emotionality, Activity, and Sociability Temperaments Predicting Long-Term Job Strain and Effort-Reward Imbalance: A 15-Year Prospective Follow-Up Study,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 71, No. 2, 2011, pp. 90-96.
 A. D. Clemets and B. A. Bailey, “The Relationship between Temperament and Anxiety: Phase I in the Development of a Risk Screening Model to Predict Stress-Related Health Problems,” Journal of Health Psychology, Vol. 15, No. 4, 2010, pp. 515-525.
 L. Keltikangas-Järvinen, N. Ravaja and J. Viikari, “Identifying Cloninger’s Temperament Profiles as Related to the Early Development of the Metabolic Cardiovascular Syndrome in Young Men,” Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology, Vol. 19, No. 8, 1999, pp. 1998-2006.
 M. Hintsanen, L. Pulkki-Råback, M. Juonala, J. S. A. Viikari, O. T. Raitakari, et al., “Cloninger’s Temperament Traits and Preclinical Atherosclerosis: The Cardiovascular Risk in Young Finns Study,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, Vol. 67, No. 1, 2009, pp. 77-84.
 M. W. Ketterer, K. E. Freedland, D. S. Krantz, P. Kaufmann, S. Forman, et al., “Psychological Correlates of Mental Stress-Induced Ischemia in the Laboratory: The Psychophysiological Investigation of Myocardial Ischemia (PIMI) Study,” Journal of Health Psychology, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2000, pp. 75-85. doi:10.1177/135910530000500112