Polygenic risk scores (PRS) are strongly associated with intraocular pressure (IOP) and may improve glaucoma predictions, according to new research presented earlier this week in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the ARVO annual meeting.

Investigators from the University of Illinois studied 117,649 participants in the eye and vision arm of the UK Biobank cohort and employed a big data approach. More than 800,000 genotyped and 92 million imputed single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were available from the dataset. The investigators constructed weighted and unweighted PRS for IOP and glaucoma using linear and logistic regression. They found the weighted PRS were significantly associated with both IOP and glaucoma.

From a clinical implication perspective, this big data approach appears to have significant value in predicting glaucoma, says Joseph P. Shovlin, OD, of Scranton, PA. “SNPs constructed from their data and previously reported IOP SNPs were used for their PRS for IOP and glaucoma. This PRS associated with intraocular pressure represents another potential improvement in predicting glaucoma.”

Gao R, Fan F. Polygenic risk score is associated with intraocular pressure and improves glaucoma prediction in the UK Biobank Cohort. ARVO 2018. Abstract 779.