Study of gene-environment effects on development of hyperopia: a study of 191 adult twin pairs from the Finnish Twin Cohort Study

Acta Genet Med Gemellol (Roma). 1990;39(1):133-6. doi: 10.1017/s0001566000005651.


The Finnish Twin Cohort material was used to estimate genetic and environmental effects in the etiology of hyperopia (farsightedness). All twin pairs in the cohort born before year 1927 (age 60 years and over at the time of the study), with both members alive, were sent a questionnaire. The questionnaire included questions of past and present eye diseases, visits to ophthalmologists, use of glasses and other vision-related questions. The hyperopia was assessed by asking the patients to send their last prescription for glasses to the authors. Twins with any eye disease affecting refraction (cataract, corneal damage), operation or trauma to their eyes were discarded from the present study. In 191 pairs (80 monozygotic and 111 dizygotic pairs) one or both members of the pair had a hyperopic refractive error. The correlations of refraction between right and left eyes of both MZ and DZ pairs were high (Spearman Rank Correlations of 0.86-0.89). The intrapair correlations among MZ pairs were higher (0.44 for right and 0.45 for left eyes) than intrapair correlations among DZ pairs (0.24 for right and 0.15 for left eyes). The variances were not significantly different among MZ and DZ pairs. The classical analysis of heritability gave an estimate of 0.75 for hyperopia. The result suggests that genetic factors are important in hyperopia and especially in hyperopia of higher degree.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Eyeglasses
  • Finland
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / complications
  • Glaucoma, Angle-Closure / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hyperopia / etiology*
  • Hyperopia / genetics
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Twins* / genetics
  • Twins, Dizygotic
  • Twins, Monozygotic