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Circulation. 1998 May 12;97(18):1766-72.

Evidence for association and genetic linkage of the angiotensin-converting enzyme locus with hypertension and blood pressure in men but not women in the Framingham Heart Study.

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  • 1National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, Mass 01701, USA.



There is controversy regarding the association of the angiotensin-converting enzyme deletion-insertion (ACE D/I) polymorphism with systemic hypertension and with blood pressure. We investigated these relations in a large population-based sample of men and women by using association and linkage analyses.


The study sample consisted of 3095 participants in the Framingham Heart Study. Blood pressure measurements were obtained at regular examinations. The ACE D/I polymorphism was identified by using a polymerase chain reaction assay. In logistic regression analysis, the adjusted odds ratios for hypertension among men for the DD and DI genotypes were 1.59 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.13 to 2.23) and 1.18 (95% CI, 0.87 to 1.62), respectively, versus II (chi2 P=.02). In women, adjusted odds ratios for the DD and DI genotypes were 1.00 (95% CI, 0.70 to 1.44) and 0.78 (95% CI, 0.56 to 1.09), respectively (P=.14). In linear regression analysis, there was an association of the ACE DD genotype with increased diastolic blood pressure in men (age-adjusted P=.03, multivariate-adjusted P=.14) but not women. Quantitative trait linkage analyses in 1044 pairs of siblings, by using both ACE D/I and a nearby microsatellite polymorphism of the human growth hormone gene, supported a role of the ACE locus in influencing blood pressure in men but not in women.


In our large, population-based sample, there is evidence for association and genetic linkage of the ACE locus with hypertension and with diastolic blood pressure in men but not women. Our data support the hypothesis that ACE, or a nearby gene, is a sex-specific candidate gene for hypertension. Confirmatory studies in other large population-based samples are warranted.

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