Role of angiotensin converting enzyme genotype in sodium sensitivity in older hypertensives

Donald R. Dengel, Michael D. Brown, Robert E. Ferrell, Mark A. Supiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: Individuals differ in their blood pressure (BP) response to changes in dietary sodium (Na+) intake. It is possible that differences in BP responses to dietary Na+ are influenced by genes. Methods: A total of 35 older (62.9 ± 1.2 years) hypertensive subjects had their mean arterial blood pressure (MABP) determined after 8 days of low (20 mmol/day) and high (200 mmol/day) Na+ intake. The insertion/deletion polymorphism of the angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) gene was genotyped with standard polymerase chain reaction methods. Results: Of the 35 subjects, 24 were classified as sodium-sensitive (≥5 mm Hg increase in MABP in response to the increase in dietary Na+) and 11 were classified as sodium-resistant (≤5 mm Hg increase in MABP). Those homozygous for the insertion allele of the ACE gene (insertion/insertion [II]; n = 8) had lower (P = .04) MABP responses to the increase in dietary Na+ (0 ± 3 mm Hg) compared to heterozygotes (insertion/deletion [ID]; n = 20) (9 ± 2 mm Hg; P = .0001) and those homozygous for the deletion allele (deletion/deletion [DD]; n = 7) (9 ± 3 mm Hg; P = .05). The prevalence of sodium sensitivity was higher (P = .0083) in DD (71%) and ID (83%) compared to II (25%) genotype groups. Conclusions: Based on these data in older hypertensive individuals, we conclude that the ACE gene ID and DD genotypes are associated with an increase in BP during a high Na+ diet, which is consistent with the phenotypic characteristic of sodium sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1178-1184
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of hypertension
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2001


  • ACE gene
  • Aging
  • Blood pressure
  • Genetics
  • Hypertension


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