Aims Heart rate variability (HRV) is a measure of cardiac autonomic control and is therefore subject to regulation by the renin-angiotensin system. The primary objective of this study was to determine the effect of an insertion/deletion polymorphism within the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene on HRV in the early stages after a myocardial infarction at a time when cardiac autonomic control is deranged. The secondary objective was to determine whether this polymorphism affected the HRV response to inhibition of ACE. Major Findings 149 Caucasian subjects were studied 25 +/- 16 h following MI using time and frequency domain measures of HRV derived from two 5-minute ECG recordings. Recordings were repeated at 182 65 h following MI, when subjects had been stabilised on ramipril 2.5 mg bd. The study included 46 subjects with the DD genotype, 69 with the ID genotype, and 34 with the 11 genotype. No effect of the I/D polymorphism on short-term recordings of HRV was found. There was no difference in HRV response to the introduction of ramipril according to the genotypes. Principal Conclusions The I/D polymorphism within the ACE gene does not influence HRV after MI or the HRV response to ACE inhibitor therapy with ramipril. These findings may reflect the relative lack of importance of the I/D polymorphism and ACE activity in determining plasma and tissue angiotensin 11 concentration after a major stimulus to the renin-angiotensin system as occurs after myocardial infarction.
- renin-angiotensin system
- heart rate variability