Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors reduce morbidity, mortality, hospital admissions, and decline in physical function and exercise capacity in congestive heart failure (CHF) patients. These therapeutic effects are attributed primarily to beneficial cardiovascular actions of these drugs. However, it has been suggested that ACE inhibitorinduced positive effects may also be mediated by direct action on the skeletal muscle. In particular, two recently published observational studies documented that among hypertensive subjects free of CHF, treatment with ACE inhibitors was associated with better performance and muscular outcomes and genetic studies also support the hypothesis that the ACE system may be involved in physical performance and skeletal muscle function. Effects on the skeletal muscle are probably mediated by mechanical, metabolic, anti-inflammatory, nutritional, neurological and angiogenetic actions of these drugs. These studies may have major public health implications for older adults, as consequence of the fact that, in this population, gradual loss of muscle mass and muscle strength can play a key role in the onset and progression of disability. Therefore, if findings of observational studies will be later confirmed in randomized controlled trials, ACE inhibitors could represent an effective intervention to prevent physical decline in the elderly, leading to greater autonomy in this growing population.