Polygenic Risk Scores for Glaucoma Onset in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study

Rishabh K. Singh, Yan Zhao, Tobias Elze, John Fingert, Mae Gordon, Michael A. Kass, Yuyang Luo, Louis R. Pasquale, Todd Scheetz, Ayellet V. Segrè, Janey L. Wiggs, Nazlee Zebardast

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Importance: Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is a highly heritable disease, with 127 identified risk loci to date. Polygenic risk score (PRS) may provide a clinically useful measure of aggregate genetic burden and improve patient risk stratification. Objective: To assess whether a PRS improves prediction of POAG onset in patients with ocular hypertension. Design, Setting, and Participants: This was a post hoc analysis of the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study. Data were collected from 22 US sites with a mean (SD) follow-up of 14.0 (6.9) years. A total of 1636 participants were followed up from February 1994 to December 2008; 1077 participants were enrolled in an ancillary genetics study, of which 1009 met criteria for this analysis. PRS was calculated using summary statistics from the largest cross-ancestry POAG meta-analysis, with weights trained using 8813496 variants from 449186 cross-ancestry participants in the UK Biobank. Data were analyzed from July 2022 to December 2023. Exposures: From February 1994 to June 2002, participants were randomized to either topical intraocular pressure-lowering medication or close observation. After June 2002, both groups received medication. Main Outcomes and Measures: Outcome measures were hazard ratios for POAG onset. Concordance index and time-dependent areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve were used to compare the predictive performance of multivariable Cox proportional hazards models. Results: Of 1009 included participants, 562 (55.7%) were female, and the mean (SD) age was 55.9 (9.3) years. The mean (SD) PRS was significantly higher for 350 POAG converters (0.24 [0.95]) compared with 659 nonconverters (-0.12 [1.00]) (P <.001). POAG risk increased 1.36% (95% CI, 1.08-1.64) with each higher PRS decile, with conversion ranging from 9.52% (95% CI, 7.09-11.95) in the lowest PRS decile to 21.81% (95% CI, 19.37-24.25) in the highest decile. Comparison of low-risk and high-risk PRS tertiles showed a 2.0-fold increase in 20-year POAG risk for participants of European and African ancestries. In the subgroup randomized to delayed treatment, each increase in PRS decile was associated with a 0.52-year (95% CI, 0.01-1.03) decrease in age at diagnosis (P =.047). No significant linear association between PRS and age at POAG diagnosis was present in the early treatment group. Prediction models significantly improved with the addition of PRS as a covariate (C index = 0.77) compared with the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study baseline model (C index = 0.75) (P <.001). Each 1-SD higher PRS conferred a mean hazard ratio of 1.25 (95% CI, 1.13-1.44) for POAG onset. Conclusions and Relevance: Higher PRS was associated with increased risk for POAG in patients with ocular hypertension. The inclusion of a PRS improved the prediction of POAG onset. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00000125.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 18 2024


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