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OBJECTIVE: To explore whether insertion (I) and deletion (D) polymorphisms within intron 16 of the angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) gene confer susceptibility to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis (LN). METHODS: We surveyed studies of ACE I/D polymorphism and SLE using Medline and manual searches. We conducted a metaanalysis of the DD genotype (recessive effect), DD and DI genotype (dominant effect), and D allele of the ACE overall and in each ethnic population. We performed a metaanalysis of ACE I/D polymorphism in SLE and LN. RESULTS: Thirteen comparison studies were included in our metaanalysis consisting of 1411 patients with SLE and 1551 controls. We found no association of ACE I/D polymorphism with SLE in the total sample and by ethnic groups. There was a trend for association of the DD genotype (OR 1.212, 95% CI 0.966-1.520, p = 0.097) and the D allele with SLE in Caucasian patients (OR 1.157, 95% CI 0.991-1.349, p = 0.064); however, this was not statistically significant. The metaanalysis also showed no association of the ACE I/D polymorphisms with LN. CONCLUSION: This metaanalysis of 2962 subjects showed there is a lack of association of the ACE I/D polymorphism with SLE and LN.