Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by progressive airflow obstruction that occurs as a result of the normal inflammatory process to protect against harmful irritants and chemicals. Another physiological regulatory process, the renin angiotensin system (RAS), plays an important role in the pathology of many diseases. Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) is a key enzyme of RAS. We investigated the frequency of the ACE gene I/D polymorphism in patients with COPD in Turkey. This study was performed on 47 unrelated patients with COPD and 64 healthy subjects. DNA samples were isolated from peripheral blood, and ACE DNA was amplified by polymerase chain reaction. The frequencies of ACE genotypes were 27.7, 55.3, and 17% for DD, ID, and II in the COPD group, respectively, and 43.8, 43.8, and 12.4% in the control group. There was no statistically significant difference between groups (chi(2) = 3.078; df = 2; P = 0.220). The distributions of ACE gene D alleles were 38.2% (N = 52) in the COPD group and 61.8% (N = 84) in the control group; and those of I alleles were 48.8% (N = 42) in the COPD group and 51.2% (N = 44) in the control group. There was no statistically significant difference between groups for allele frequency (chi(2) = 2.419; df = 2; P = 0.120). We believe these results can be useful for large-scale population genetic research considering the frequency of the ACE gene variation in COPD patients in the Turkish population.