There are no previous reports about the prevalence of the Thr54 FABP2 variant in our region. In the sample tested, the observed Thr54 frequency (q = 0,277) is similar to that reported in eleven different European countries (0.276) , suggesting that the colonising European populations, mainly from Italy and Spain, introduced the same original allele frequency in this continent and that this frequency has remained conserved. The fact that the proportion of carriers has not changed and that the polymorphism is in a Hardy Weinberg equilibrium suggests that there is no significant natural selection pressure acting against individuals with the Thr54 FABP2 variant living in Mendoza, Argentina. Other South American frequency analysis of Thr54 were reported by a Chilean group, who found a q = 0.4 in 63 obese and not obese women , and a Brazilian study that reported a q = 0.25 in 1042 diabetes type 2 individuals . Even though both analyses are performed on specific study sample, i.e. obese and diabetic individuals, the Brazilian frequency in 1042 individuals is similar to that observed by our group in Argentina.
It is well known that the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) at codon 54 is a missence variant that has a definite effect on the primary structure of the protein and affects its fatty acid binding properties. It is not known, however, whether this change can affect the lipid metabolism of carriers . Many earlier studies have reported associations between this polymorphism and insulin resistance, BMI, dyslipidemia, stroke, metabolic syndromes and hypertriglyceridemia [2, 6, 8–10, 21–23]. In contrast, other studies report no association with the same parameters [11–14]. Part of the discrepancy among the studies may come from the different dietary habits of the analyzed populations. For example, the lack of association found in a Finnish population  could be related to its prevailing fish diet where the Thr54 variant may not cause any phenotypical manifestation. Therefore, it was important to assess some of these associations in Argentina, characterized by the consumption of significant amounts of beef (i.e. 68 kg of beef/year/habitant). This diet is rich in proteins and fats and poor in fibres and fish . In addition, it was relevant for the local RCP Program to develop health prevention strategies based on educational programs of life style and nutritional habits.
Our results indicate that in the assessed population, the allele Thr54 does not influence the glycemia levels nor the blood pressure (odds ratio approaching 1).
The Cholesterol levels, BMI and CVR index are not significantly influenced by the Thr54, but show ORs >1. These tendencies for increased risk are better manifested when BMI and Cholesterol are analysed in a combination. This observation does, however, not prove association or causality. The sample size was small, and these observed tendencies require further investigation in order to reveal whether the influences become significant and whether it could be related to the meat and fat-rich diet prevailing in Argentina.