OBJECTIVE: To establish the allelic and genotypic frequencies related to apolipoprotein E (ApoE) polymorphism and association of the genotypes with risk factors and cardiovascular morbidity in an elderly population with longevity. METHODS: We analyzed 70 elderly patients aged 80 years or more who were part of the Projeto Veranópolis. We used the gene amplification technique through the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and cleavage with the restriction enzyme Hha I to identify the ApoE genotypes. The most frequent genotypes were compared considering biological variables and cardiovascular risks and morbidity. RESULTS: The frequencies of the E2, E3, and E4 alleles were 0.05, 0.84, and 0.11, respectively, and of the genotypes were as follows: E3E3 (0.70), E3E4 (0.22), E2E3 (0.06), and E2E2 (0.02). Individuals with the E3E4 had a mean age greater than those with the E3E3. No association was observed between the genotypes and the variables analyzed, except for obesity, which was associated with the E3E3 genotype. Individuals with the E3E4 genotype had high levels of LDL-cholesterol and fibrinogen as compared with those with the E3E3 genotype. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that the E4E4 genotype may be associated with early mortality. A balance between the protective or neutral factors and the cardiovascular risk factors may occur among the individuals with different genotypes, attenuating the negative effects of the E4 allele.