Angiotensin-I converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism and its association with diabetic nephropathy: a meta-analysis of studies reported between 1994 and 2004 and comprising 14,727 subjects

Diabetologia. 2005 May;48(5):1008-16. doi: 10.1007/s00125-005-1726-2. Epub 2005 Apr 14.


Aims/hypothesis: The ACE insertion/deletion polymorphism has been examined for association with diabetic nephropathy over the past decade with conflicting results. To clarify this situation, we conducted a comprehensive meta-analysis encompassing all relevant studies that were published between 1994 and 2004 and investigated this potential genetic association.

Methods: A total of 14,727 subjects from 47 studies was included in this meta-analysis. Cases (n=8,663) were type 1 or 2 diabetic subjects with incipient (microalbuminuria) or advanced diabetic nephropathy (proteinuria, chronic renal failure, end-stage renal disease). Control subjects (n=6,064) were predominantly normoalbuminuric.

Results: No obvious publication bias was detected. Using a minimal-case definition based on incipient diabetic nephropathy, subjects with the II genotype had a 22% lower risk of diabetic nephropathy than carriers of the D allele (pooled odds ratio [OR]=0.78, 95% CI=0.69-0.88). While there was a reduced risk of diabetic nephropathy associated with the II genotype among Caucasians with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, the association was most marked among type 2 diabetic Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Koreans) (OR=0.65, 95% CI=0. 51-0.83). This OR is significantly different from the OR of 0.90 (95% CI= 0.78-1.04) that was obtained for type 2 diabetic Caucasians (p=0.019). Using a stricter case definition based on advanced diabetic nephropathy, a comparable risk reduction of 24-32% was observed among the three subgroups, although statistical significance was reached only among Asians.

Conclusions/interpretation: The results of our meta-analysis support a genetic association of the ACE Ins/Del polymorphism with diabetic nephropathy. These findings may have implications for the management of diabetic nephropathy using ACE inhibitors especially among type 2 diabetic Asians.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Continental Population Groups / genetics
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • DNA Transposable Elements / genetics*
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / enzymology
  • Diabetic Nephropathies / genetics*
  • Ethnic Groups / genetics
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A / genetics*
  • Sequence Deletion


  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A