Recent studies have suggested an association between a deletion (D) variant of the angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) gene and diabetic nephropathy. However, this finding has not been confirmed by all investigators. Furthermore, an M235T variant of the angiotensinogen (AGT) gene has been associated with hypertension, an important risk factor for the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. The objective of our study was therefore to examine the relationship between these genetic variants of the renin-angiotensin system and diabetic nephropathy and hypertension, respectively, in a large (n = 661) group of Caucasian patients with insulin-dependent (n = 360) or non-insulin-dependent (n = 301) diabetes mellitus. The study had a power of 0.8 to detect a doubling of risk of nephropathy or hypertension in patients with the ACE-DD or AGT-235TT genotype, respectively. Allelic frequencies of the ACE-D and AGT-235T alleles were similar between patients with and without nephropathy in either type of diabetes, and accordingly, there was no significant association between diabetic nephropathy and the ACE or AGT genotype. Likewise, there was no significant association between the ACE or AGT genotype and hypertension. Thus, our data, in this large and ethnically homogeneous group of patients, do not support the hypothesis that these genetic variants of the renin-angiotensin system are strongly associated with either nephropathy or hypertension in patients with insulin-dependent or non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. These genetic markers are therefore unlikely to serve as clinically useful predictors of either nephropathy or hypertension in Caucasian patients with diabetes.