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Hypertension. 2000 Jan;35(1 Pt 2):490-5.

Influence of the I/D polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting enzyme gene on the outcome of microalbuminuria in essential hypertension.

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Instituto Investigaciones Citológicas, Fundación Valenciana de Investigaciones Biomédicas, Valencia, Spain.


The objective of the present study was to analyze the influence of the I/D polymorphism of the ACE gene on the outcome of microalbuminuria in essential hypertensive patients who were receiving antihypertensive treatment. One hundred thirty-six essential hypertensive patients who were <50 years old and had never previously received treatment with antihypertensive drugs were included in the study. During a 3-year period, patients received nonpharmacological treatment consisting of moderate salt restriction and a low-calorie diet they were obese, with or without a regimen of antihypertensive drugs based on beta-blockers or ACE inhibitors. Hydrochlorothiazide was added when necessary to maintain the blood pressure goal of <135/85 mm Hg. At the beginning of the study and at yearly intervals, systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP and DBP, respectively), 24-hour urinary albumin excretion (UAE), renal function, and biochemical profile measurements were made. The insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism of the ACE gene was determined through the use of polymerase chain reaction. The variables used in the statistical analysis were the measurements at the start of the study and the increase or decrease detected during the follow-up, estimated as individual specific regression line slope values. At baseline, no differences in blood pressure or UAE values were observed among genotypes. Likewise, the genotype or allele frequency was not significantly different between normoalbuminurics and microalbuminurics. After the 3 treatment years, significant reductions in SBP, DBP, and UAE were found (SBP 151.6+/-17.3 reduced to 137.2+/-14.3 mm Hg, P<0.001; DBP 96.6+/-8.9 reduced to 84.5+/-9.8 mm Hg, P<0.001; UAE 36.7+/-71.5 reduced to 28.3+/-78.6 mg/24 h, P<0. 05). The slopes of these parameters over time did not differ significantly among genotypes. The slope of SBP was the main factor related to the slope of logUAE (P<0.003). A significant positive correlation coefficient between the SBP and logUAE slopes was observed for the DD patients (r=0.57, P<0.0001) but was absent in patients carrying the I allele (II r=-0.03, P=NS; I/D r=0.01, P=NS). Follow-up studies should be used to achieve a better understanding of the impact of candidate gene polymorphisms on the development of hypertension-induced organ damage. Assessment of the I/D polymorphism of the ACE gene may identify subjects who require a greatly lowered blood pressure to prevent organ damage and to reduce hypertension-associated complications and death.

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