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Previous studies in the Mexican population have failed to show an effect of apolipoprotein E (APOE) polymorphism on the lipid profile. The purpose of the present study was to determine the frequencies of APOE phenotypes, and their influence on lipid and apolipoprotein levels in a random sample of Mexican adolescents living in Mexico City. APOE polymorphism, fasting insulin levels, lipid levels, and apolipoprotein levels were determined in 420 adolescents. We found a high frequency of APOE*3 subjects (89.5%) and a low frequency of APOE*2 (3.0%) and APOE*4 (7.5%) subjects. The APOE*4 subjects (including APOE 4,3 and APOE 4,4) showed the highest concentrations of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and apoB and the lowest high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, whereas carriers of the APOE*2 allele (APOE 3,2 and APOE 2,2) had the lowest values for total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the highest concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. No significant differences in triglyceride and insulin levels among subjects with different APOE polymorphisms were observed. Unlike previous studies in the Mexican population, our results show that lipid and lipoprotein levels are under the influence of APOE polymorphism. As in whites, APOE*4 may be a cardiovascular risk factor in the Mexican population.