Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme and frequency of severe hypoglycaemia in Type 1 diabetes: does a relationship exist?

N. N. Zammitt, J. Geddes, R. E. Warren, R. Marioni, J. P. Ashby, B. M. Frier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims An association has been described between elevated serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and an increased risk of severe hypoglycaemia (SH). To ascertain whether this reported association could be replicated in a different country, it was re-examined in 300 individuals with Type 1 diabetes.

Methods People with Type 1 diabetes, none of whom was taking renin-angiotensin system blocking drugs, were recruited. Participants recorded the frequency with which they had experienced SH. Glycated haemoglobin (HbA(1c)) and serum ACE were measured. The difference in the incidence of SH between different quartiles of ACE activity and the relationship between serum ACE and SH were examined using non-parametric statistical tests and a negative binomial model.

Results Data were obtained from 300 patients [158 male; HbA(1c) median (range) 8.2% (5.2-12.8%), median age 36 years (16-88); duration of diabetes 14.5 years (2-49)]. The incidence of SH was 0.93 episodes per patient year. The mean incidence of SH in the top and bottom quartiles of ACE activity was 0.5 and 1.7 episodes per patient year, respectively, but this difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.075). Spearman's test showed a very weak, although statistically significant, association between serum ACE level and SH incidence (r = 0.115, P = 0.047). The binomial model also showed a statistically significant (P = 0.002), but clinically weak, relationship between serum ACE and SH.

Conclusions The present survey showed a weak relationship between serum ACE and the frequency of SH, the clinical relevance of which is unclear. This limits the proposed role for serum ACE as an index of risk for SH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1449-1454
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


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