Objective. To examine if angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor use delays the occurrence of renal involvement and decreases the risk of disease activity in SLE patients. Methods. SLE patients (Hispanics, African Americans and Caucasians) from the lupus in minorities: nature vs nurture (LUMINA) cohort were studied. Renal involvement was defined as ACR criterion and/or biopsy-proven lupus nephritis. Time-to-renal involvement was examined by univariable and multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses. Disease activity was examined with a case-crossover design and a conditional logistic regression model; in the case intervals, a decrease in the SLAM-R score ≥4 points occurred but not in the control intervals. Results. Eighty of 378 patients (21%) were ACE inhibitor users; 298 (79%) were not. The probability of renal involvement free-survival at 10 yrs was 88.1% for users and 75.4% for non-users (P = 0.0099, log rank test). Users developed persistent proteinuria and/or biopsy-proven lupus nephritis (7.1%) less frequently than non-users (22.9%), P = 0.016. By multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression analyses, ACE inhibitors use [hazard ratio (HR) 0.27; 95% CI 0.09, 0.78] was associated with a longer time-to-renal involvement occurrence whereas African American ethnicity (HR 3.31; 95% CI 1.44, 7.61) was with a shorter time. ACE inhibitor use (54/288 case and 254/1148 control intervals) was also associated with a decreased risk of disease activity (HR 0.56; 95% CI 0.34, 0.94). Conclusions. ACE inhibitor use delays the development of renal involvement and associates with a decreased risk of disease activity in SLE; corroboration of these findings in other lupus cohorts is desirable before practice recommendations are formulated. © The Author 2008.