Aim: The human angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene is a candidate genetic locus for stroke because of the importance of the renin-angiotensin system to the development of cardiovascular disease. In the present study, the association between ACE gene deletion/insertion (D/I) polymorphism and the presence or absence of ischaemic stroke was evaluated and possible associations between ACE gene polymorphism and certain subgroups of stroke were investigated.
Materials and methods: DNA samples from 585 unselected suspected stroke patients admitted to the Acute Stroke Unit, Western Infirmary, Glasgow, and from 188 age- and sex-matched controls were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction.
Results: There was no evidence of any association between ACE gene polymorphism and the presence of ischaemic stroke except in the subgroup containing only hypertensive patients, where the odds ratio of a DD genotype for ischaemic stroke was just significantly greater than 1 (odds ratio 2.51, 95% confidence interval 1.06, 5.94). There was no significant association between ACE genotype and the stroke subgroups investigated.
Conclusion: The DD genotype may not be a risk factor for stroke, particularly in the normotensive population. Further study in a strictly controlled population is required to test for the possibility of an increased risk of stroke in hypertensives with DD homozygotes.