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The influence of apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotypes on plasma lipid levels was determined in 414 Brazilian healthy children of mixed ethnicity, age 5 to 15 years (mean 8.9 2.9). The APOE*3 allele was the most frequent (77%), followed by APOE*4 (17%) and APOE*2 (6%). The pattern of lipid differences among genotypes was similar in both boys and girls. We did not detect an increase in cholesterol levels with the presence of the APOE*4 allele. Because a growing body of evidence suggests that the effect of *4 depends on its interaction with diet, the frequency of *4 might be more variable in children than in adults as well as among populations. Children carrying a *2 allele had lower total cholesterol (TC) and LDL-cholesterol levels (138.47 24.32 and 77.72 19.42, respectively) compared with *3/*3 children (158.33 25.28 and 97.05 21.82, respectively). Mean TC/HDLC ratio was also lower in children with the APOE*2 allele (3.27 0.66 versus 3.64 0.76). In this highly admixed population sample, the *2 anti-atherogenic lipid pattern is already detected in children.