To clarify the relationship between the angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) gene polymorphism and diabetic micro- and macroangiopathy in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM).
We examined 267 NIDDM patients with various stages of diabetic retinopathy, 61 patients with myocardial infarction (MI), and 136 patients without MI. An insertion/deletion polymorphism of the ACE gene was typed by polymerase chain reaction.
Although no association was found between ACE gene polymorphism and diabetic retinopathy or nephropathy, this polymorphism was associated with MI in the patients with NIDDM. Homozygotes for the deletion polymorphism (DD genotype) were found more frequently in diabetic patients with MI (31.1%) than in diabetic patients without ischemic heart disease (16.9%), with a relative risk of 2.22 (95% confidence interval 1.11–4.46, P = 0.024).
These data indicate that ACE gene polymorphism is associated with MI, but not with retinopathy or nephropathy, in patients with NIDDM and suggest that the ACE gene confers susceptibility to diabetic macroangiopathy but not to microangiopathy.