Clinical and experimental data have shown that the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is implicated in the pathogenesis of respiratory disorders. In this study, we genotyped five widely-evaluated variants in RAGE gene, aiming to assess their association with the risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma in northern Han Chinese. Genotypes were determined in 105 COPD patients, 242 asthma patients and 527 controls. In single-locus analysis, there was significant difference in the genotype distributions of rs1800624 between COPD patients and controls (p=0.022), and the genotype and allele distributions of rs1800625 differed significantly (p=0.040 and 0.016) between asthma patients and controls. Haplotype analysis revealed that haplotype T-A-G-T (allele order: rs1800625, rs1800624, rs2070600, rs184003) was significantly associated with a reduced COPD risk (OR=0.32, 95% CI: 0.06-0.60), and haplotype T-A-A-G was significantly associated with a reduced asthma risk (OR=0.19, 95% CI: 0.04-0.96). Further haplotype-phenotype analysis showed that high- and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and blood urea nitrogen were significant mediators for COPD (psim=0.041, 0.043 and 0.030, respectively), and total cholesterol was a significant mediator for asthma (psim=0.009). Taken together, our findings indicate that RAGE gene is a promising candidate for COPD and asthma, and importantly both disorders are genetically heterogeneous.