eCite Digital Repository

Assessing the genetic predisposition of education on myopia: a Mendelian randomization study


Cuellar-Partida, G and Lu, Y and Kho, PF and Hewitt, AW and Wichmann, HE and Yazar, S and Stambolian, D and Bailey-Wilson, JE and Wojciechowski, R and Wang, JJ and Mitchell, P and Mackey, DA and MacGregor, S, Assessing the genetic predisposition of education on myopia: a Mendelian randomization study, Genetic Epidemiology, 40, (1) pp. 66-72. ISSN 0741-0395 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1002/gepi.21936


Myopia is the largest cause of uncorrected visual impairments globally and its recent dramatic increase in the population has made it a major public health problem. In observational studies, educational attainment has been consistently reported to be correlated to myopia. Nonetheless, correlation does not imply causation. Observational studies do not tell us if education causes myopia or if instead there are confounding factors underlying the association. In this work, we use a two-step least squares instrumental-variable (IV) approach to estimate the causal effect of education on refractive error, specifically myopia. We used the results from the educational attainment GWAS from the Social Science Genetic Association Consortium to define a polygenic risk score (PGRS) in three cohorts of late middle age and elderly Caucasian individuals (N = 5,649). In a meta-analysis of the three cohorts, using the PGRS as an IV, we estimated that each z-score increase in education (approximately 2 years of education) results in a reduction of 0.92 0.29 diopters (P = 1.04 10−3). Our estimate of the effect of education on myopia was higher (P = 0.01) than the observed estimate (0.25 0.03 diopters reduction per education z-score [∼2 years] increase). This suggests that observational studies may actually underestimate the true effect. Our Mendelian Randomization (MR) analysis provides new evidence for a causal role of educational attainment on refractive error.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Mendelian randomization, education, instrumental variable, myopia, polygenic risk scores, refractive error
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Ophthalmology and optometry
Research Field:Ophthalmology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Hewitt, AW (Professor Alex Hewitt)
UTAS Author:Mackey, DA (Professor David Mackey)
ID Code:104139
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:42
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-11-03
Last Modified:2017-11-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page