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Is There an Association Between the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Gene Polymorphism and Carotid Atherosclerosis in Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetics?

Marija Santl Letonja, Mitja Letonja, Jovana Nikolajevic-Starcevic, Drazen Popovic, Danijel Petrovic


Many studies have investigated the association between the angiotensin-coverting enzyme (ACE) gene insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism and carotid intima-media thickness (ITM). However, only a few reports so far have studied carotid artery disease by plaque score in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients. To investigate the impact of genetic polymorphisms of the ACE on carotid atherosclerosis in the Slovenian population with NIDDM, we searched for the association between the ACE I/D gene polymorphism and either ITM or plaque score in subjects with NIDDM. Study participants were 292 NIDDM patients, randomly selected from one centre, with diabetes duration ≥ 10 years. The ITM and plaque score of the carotid arteries was determinated by bilateral B-mode ultrasonography. Polymerase chain reaction was used to evaluated the ACE I/D polymorphism. The frequency of the allele D was 55.3 %, and the frequency of the allele I was 44.7 %. The mean ITM was 1.08, 1.09 and 1.07 in the ACE DD, ID, and II genotypes, respectively. The ITM and the prevalence of focal plaque assessed by plaque score were not significantly different among the three genotypes in NIDDM patients. We may conclude that the ACE I/D gene polymorphism is not associated with ITM and plaque score. Therefore it could not be used as a genetic marker of carotid atherosclerosis in NIDDM patients.


angiotensin-coverting enzyme gene insertion/deletion polymorphism, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis; carotid arteries

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DOI: 10.5457/ams.v39i2.178