Objectives: We tested for an association between the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) DD polymorphic genotype and myocardial infarction (MI) in a sample group composed exclusively of women.
Background: The human ACE gene occurs with either an insertion (I allele) or a deletion (D allele) of a 287-base pair (bp) Alu element. Part of the variance in serum ACE levels may be accounted for by this polymorphism. Also, the DD genotype has been associated with an increased risk of MI in predominantly male populations. However, the risk in women is poorly defined.
Methods: Genomic DNA was extracted from buffy coat blood using a phenol/chloroform method. Angiotensin-converting enzyme alleles were identified using primers to bracket the insertion region in intron 16. Amplification using polymerase chain reaction allowed identification of a 490-bp (I allele) or a 190-bp (D allele) product, or both.
Results: Allelic and genotypic frequencies in control subjects were similar to those reported in mostly male populations, and frequencies of genotypes were in the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. In contrast, the distribution of genotypes in patients with MI diverged from the equilibrium. Specifically, DD genotypic frequency was increased in women with (n = 141) versus without (n = 338) a previous MI (39% vs. 29%, odds ratio [OR] 1.54, 95% confidence interval 1.02 to 2.32, p < 0.04). Risk was particularly increased in women <60 years old (OR 2.04, p < 0.05). In contrast, the DD genotype did not predict angiographic coronary artery disease.
Conclusions: Consistent with findings in male-dominated populations, a modest association of the ACE DD genotype with MI was found in women. The basis for this association requires further study.