The angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism and its associations with carotid artery wall thickness and coronary heart disease: The atherosclerosis risk in communities study
Coronary heart disease (CHD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Recently, renin-angiotensin system (RAS) was found associated with atherosclerosis formation, with angiotensin II inducing vascular smooth muscle cell growth and migration, platelet activation and aggregation, and stimulation of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1. Angiotensin II is converted from angiotensin I by angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) and this enzyme is mainly genetically determined. The ACE gene has been assigned to chromosome 17q23 and an insertion/deletion (I/D)polymorphism has been characterized by the presence/absence of a 287 bp fragment in intron 16 of the gene. The two alleles form three genotypes, namely, DD, ID and II and the DD genotype has been linked to higher plasma ACE levels and cell ACE activity. In this study, the association between the ACE I/D polymorphism and carotid artery wall thickness measured by B-mode ultrasound was investigated in a biracial sample, and the association between the gene and incident CHD was investigated in whites and if the gene-CHD association in whites, if any, was due to the gene effect on atherosclerosis. The study participants are from the prospective Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study, including adults aged 45 to 65 years. The present dissertation used a matched case-control design for studying the associations of the ACE gene with carotid artery atherosclerosis and an unmatched case-control design for the association of the gene with CHD. A significant recessive effect of the D allele on carotid artery thickness was found in blacks (OR = 3.06, 95% C.I: 1.11-8.47, DD vs. ID and II) adjusting for age, gender, cigarette smoking, LDL-cholesterol and diabetes. No similar associations were found in whites. The ACE I/D polymorphism is significantly associated with coronary heart disease in whites, and while stratifying data by carotid artery wall thickness, the significant associations were only observed in thin-walled subgroups. Assuming a recessive effect of the D allele, odds ratio was 2.84 (95% C.I:1.17-6.90, DD vs. ID and II) and it was 2.30 (95% C.I:1.22-4.35, DD vs. ID vs. II) assuming a codominant effect of the D allele. No significant associations were observed while comparing thick-walled CHD cases with thin-walled controls. Following conclusions could be drawn: (1) The ACE I/D polymorphism is unlikely to confer appreciable increase in the risk of carotid atherosclerosis in US whites, but may increases the risk of carotid atherosclerosis in blacks. (2) ACE I/D polymorphism is a genetic risk factor for incident CHD in US whites and this effect is separate from the chronic process of atherosclerosis development. Finally, the associations observed here are not causal, since the I/D polymorphism is in an intron, where no ACE proteins are encoded.
Public health|Pathology|Molecular biology|Genetics
Chen, Ling, "The angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism and its associations with carotid artery wall thickness and coronary heart disease: The atherosclerosis risk in communities study" (1997). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9809537.