Atrial fibrillation (AF) occurs in about 20% of patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). HCM patients with AF have an increased risk for clinical decline and thromboembolism. In addition, AF is known to be associated with the atrial renin-angiotensin system (RAS). However, the relation between AF and the RAS in HCM has not been investigated. We genotyped the insertion/ deletion (I/D) polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene in 138 HCM patients (26 with AF, 112 with sinus rhythm). Distribution of the ACE genotypes (DD, ID, and II) among the total HCM patients was 15%, 46%, and 38%. AF was documented in 3 patients with the DD genotype, 7 with the ID genotype, and 16 with the II genotype (P < 0.03 vs. sinus rhythm group). The odds of AF were 3.2-fold greater in patients with the II genotype than in those with the other genotypes (P = 0.009, 95% confidence interval = 1.3-7.8). Kaplan-Meier curves examining the time to the first documented AF event showed a significant difference between genotypes during the follow-up period (mean 116 months, P < 0.05). These findings suggest that the II genotype of the ACE gene is a significant risk factor for AF in patients with HCM.