Background: Angiotensin-converting enzyme has been reported to show altered activity in patients with neurologic diseases. An insertion-deletion polymorphism in ACE has recently been linked to heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and AD.
Objective: To determine whether the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) is associated with risk of Alzheimer disease (AD).
Methods: We investigated the ACE polymorphism as a potential risk factor for AD in 151 patients with AD and 206 ethnically matched controls from Russia and in 236 patients with AD and 169 controls from North America by means of allele association methods and logistic regression.
Results: None of the ACE genotypes was associated with increased susceptibility to AD in the total sample or in subsets stratified by apolipoprotein E gene (APOE) epsilon4 status. However, the D allele was more frequent among AD cases between ages 66 and 70 years compared with controls in both the Russian (P = .02) and North American (P = .001) datasets. In this age group, the effect of D (odds ratio, 11.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.9-44.0) appeared to be independent of and equal or greater in magnitude to the effect of APOE epsilon4 (odds ratio, 7.8; 95% confidence interval, 3.5-7.4).
Conclusions: Our results suggest that APOE and ACE genotypes may be independent risk factors for late-onset AD, but the ACE association needs to be confirmed in independent samples in which the time and extent of vascular cofactors can be assessed.