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Background polygenic risk modulates the association between glaucoma and cardiopulmonary diseases and measures: an analysis from the UK Biobank


Aims To assess whether associations of cardiopulmonary conditions and markers with glaucoma differ by background genetic risk for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).

Methods We constructed a POAG polygenic risk score (PRS) using genome-wide association study summary statistics from a large cross-ancestry meta-analysis. History of glaucoma (including self-report and codes for POAG, ‘other glaucoma’ or unspecified glaucoma), history of common cardiopulmonary conditions and cardiopulmonary measures were assessed in the UK Biobank. Stratifying by PRS decile 1 (lowest risk) versus decile 10 (highest risk), separate multivariable models were estimated to assess the associations of cardiopulmonary diseases or factors with glaucoma, adjusting for age, sex, smoking and medication use. A Bonferroni correction was used to adjust p values for multiple comparisons.

Results Individuals in POAG PRS decile 1 (417 cases, 44 458 controls; mean age 56.8 years) and decile 10 (2135 cases, 42 413 controls; mean age 56.7 years) were included. Within decile 1, glaucoma cases had significantly higher glycated haemoglobin (38.5 vs 35.9 mmol/mol) and higher prevalence of diabetes (17.5% vs 6.5%), dyslipidaemia (31.2% vs 18.3%) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) (6.7% vs 2.0%) than controls (adjusted p<0.0013 for each). Within decile 10, glaucoma was associated with higher prevalence of dyslipidaemia (27.7% vs 17.3%, p=6.9E-05). The magnitude of association between glaucoma and diabetes, CKD and glycated haemoglobin differed between deciles 1 and 10 (contrast test p value for difference <0.05).

Conclusion The relations between systemic conditions and glaucoma vary by underlying genetic predisposition to POAG, with larger associations among those who developed glaucoma despite low genetic risk.

  • Glaucoma
  • Genetics
  • Epidemiology

Data availability statement

Data may be obtained from a third party and are not publicly available.

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