How to monitor for adverse effects of ACE inhibitors?

What tests are used to monitor for hidden (i.e. not perceptible to the patient, e.g. renal impairment) adverse effects of ACE inhibitors, in general, and Ramipril (Altace), in particular (if there is any difference)? How often should they be done? Does the age of the patient make any difference? Does the presence or absence of any adverse effects experienced by the patient (e.g. dry cough) make any difference in this regard?