ACE gene polymorphism and the prognosis and treatment of overt diabetic nephropathy

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SUMMARYAn insertion (I)/deletion (D) polymorphism of the angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) gene influences the circulating and renal activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. This Practice Point commentary discusses a 2008 paper by Parving et al. that analyzed the interaction between losartan and the I/D polymorphism in patients in the Reduction of Endpoints in NIDDM with the Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan (RENAAL) study. The investigators found that patients with type 2 diabetes and proteinuria who have the D allele have an unfavorable renal prognosis, which is improved by losartan treatment (vs placebo) when given together with conventional antihypertensive treatment. No significant improvement in outcomes was observed in losartan-treated patients with the II genotype. Previous observational studies had suggested a decreased beneficial effect of ACE inhibitors in patients with type 1 diabetic nephropathy who have the DD genotype. Prospective studies in this area are needed before I/D genotype characterization can be used to guide the choice of therapy in patients with diabetes and proteinuria.

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