The causal relationship between angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition and protection from type 2 diabetes (T2D) remains uncertain. While three large randomized control trials (RCTs) suggested a protective effect of ACE inhibitors compared to placebo, three other RCTs failed to observe an effect, including the only trial dedicated to this question. We hypothesized that ACE concentration-lowering genetic variants could be used to infer the pharmacological effect of ACE inhibitors on T2D risk using a Mendelian Randomization (MR) approach. We first assessed the association between T2D prevalence and ACE serum level in the Outcome Reduction with Initial Glargine Intervention (ORIGIN) trial (N=8,197). We next investigated whether genetically lowered ACE level was causally linked to the risk of T2D using (i) a two-sample MR analysis applied to the DIAbetes Genetics Replication And Meta-analysis consortium (n=26,676 T2D cases; 132,532 controls), and (ii) an ACE concentration-lowering genetic risk score in the UK Biobank cohort (N=341,872). We then compared the genetically determined effect of lower ACE level on T2D risk to the pharmacological inhibition of ACE vs. placebo, which was evaluated through a meta-analysis of six RCTs (N=31,200). Lower ACE serum level was associated with reduced T2D prevalence (OR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.82-0.96; P=3.50x10-3) in the ORIGIN trial. Through MR analyses, a 1 SD lower genetically determined ACE level predicted a lower risk of T2D (OR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.89-0.95; P=1.79x10-7). This result was replicated in the UK Biobank (OR, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.96-0.99, P=8.73x10-4). RCT meta-analysis showed a reduction in T2D incidence on ACE inhibitors vs. placebo (OR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.60-0.97; P=2.59x10-2), which was consistent with the findings from MR analyses (P for comparison=0.95). Our results support a protective effect of long-term ACE inhibition on T2D risk and suggest to consider patient's risk for T2D when prescribing blood-pressure lowering drugs.


M. Pigeyre: None. J. Sjaarda: None. M. Chong: None. S. Hess: None. J. Bosch: Advisory Panel; Self; Bayer AG. S. Yusuf: None. H. Gerstein: Advisory Panel; Self; Abbott, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Eli Lilly and Company, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi. Research Support; Self; AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly and Company, Merck & Co., Inc., Novo Nordisk A/S, Sanofi. Other Relationship; Self; AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH, Eli Lilly and Company, Sanofi. G. Pare: Consultant; Self; Amgen Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Lexicomp, Sanofi. Research Support; Self; Canada Research Chair in Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology, CISCO Professorship in Integrated Health Biosystems, Sanofi.


Sanofi; Canadian Institutes of Health Research

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