Objective: To describe the Barbados Family Study of open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and present risk factors for OAG in siblings of study probands.
Design: Observational study of families of probands with OAG.
Participants: Two hundred thirty probands and 1056 relatives (from 207 families).
Methods: Probands and their family members underwent standardized examinations, including automated perimetry, applanation tonometry, ophthalmologic evaluation, fundus photography, blood pressure, interview, and genotyping. Generalized estimation equation methods were used to evaluate risk factors.
Main outcome measures: Presence of OAG in the relatives, as defined by both visual field and optic disc findings, after ophthalmologic exclusion of other causes.
Results: The median ages of probands and relatives were 68 and 47 years, respectively. In the 207 families, 29% of the probands had one relative with OAG and 10% had two or more relatives affected. Of the 1056 family members, 10% had OAG, 13% had suspect OAG, and 6% had ocular hypertension. One fifth of the 338 siblings had OAG (n = 67); they tended to be older and more often were male. Multivariate comparisons between siblings with and without OAG found that age, higher intraocular pressure (IOP), myopia, and lower diastolic blood pressure-IOP differences were related to OAG, whereas hypertension and diabetes were not.
Conclusions: Based on standardized protocols and examinations, approximately one quarter of the relatives had OAG or suspected OAG, despite their relatively young age. Risk factors for OAG in siblings were similar to risk factors in unrelated individuals. Analyses are ongoing to determine OAG inheritance and to localize potential gene(s) involved.