Several studies have shown that the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) I allele is associated with enhanced physical performance. We investigated whether this phenomenon is observed in a cohort of 67 Chinese men in Singapore. Angiotensin-converting enzyme ID polymorphism was typed with PCR method and maximal oxygen uptake (VO(2max)) of the DD, ID, and II genotypes was compared. Analysis of covariance revealed that VO(2max) was significantly higher (p<0.05) for the DD genotype (57.86 +/- 3.5 ml.kg.(-1)min(-1)) versus the ID (50.58 +/- 1.80 ml.kg.(-1)min(-1)) or II (50.48 +/- 1.58 ml.kg.(-1) min(-1)) genotype. Our findings suggest that the ACE DD genotype in young adult Chinese males is associated with higher levels of VO(2max).