African Ancestry Is Associated with Higher Intraocular Pressure in Latinos

Ophthalmology. 2016 Jan;123(1):102-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2015.08.042. Epub 2015 Oct 21.


Purpose: Intraocular pressure (IOP) is a major risk factor, as well as the only modifiable risk factor, for glaucoma. Racial differences have been observed in IOP measurements with individuals of African descent experiencing the highest IOP when compared with other ethnic groups. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between genetic ancestry and IOP in Latinos.

Design: Population-based genetic association study.

Participants: A total of 3541 participants recruited from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study.

Methods: Study participants were genotyped using the Illumina OmniExpress BeadChip (∼730K markers). We used STRUCTURE to estimate individual genetic ancestry. Simple and multiple linear regression, as well as quantile regression, analyses were performed to investigate the relationship between genetic ancestry and IOP.

Main outcome measures: The relationship between genetic ancestry and IOP in Latinos.

Results: African ancestry was significantly associated with higher IOP in Latinos in our simple linear regression analysis (P = 0.002). After adjusting for age, gender, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, central corneal thickness, and type 2 diabetes, this association remained significant (P = 0.0005). The main association was modified by a significant interaction between African ancestry and hypertension (P = 0.037), with hypertensive individuals experiencing a greater increase in IOP with increasing African ancestry.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, we demonstrate for the first time that African ancestry and its interaction with hypertension are associated with higher IOP in Latinos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Los Angeles / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / ethnology*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires