To investigate the association between the additive effects of genetic variants associated with intraocular pressure (IOP) and IOP, vertical cup-to-disc ratio (VCDR), and high tension glaucoma (HTG) or normal tension glaucoma (NTG) as phenotypic features of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), and to evaluate the clinical usefulness of the additive effects of IOP-related genetic variants for predicting IOP elevation, Japanese patients with HTG (n = 255) and NTG (n = 261) and 246 control subjects were genotyped for nine IOP-related genetic variants near CAV2, GAS7, GLCCI1/ICA1, ABCA1, ARHGEF12, FAM125B, FNDC3B, ABO, and PTPRJ/AGBL2. The total number of risk alleles of these genetic variants was calculated for each participant as a genetic risk score (GRS), and the association between the GRS and the maximum IOP, mean VCDR, and phenotype (HTG or NTG) of POAG was evaluated. As the GRS increased, the maximum IOP (P = 0.012) and VCDR (P = 0.010) significantly increased. The GRS (9.1±1.9) in patients with HTG was significantly higher (P = 0.011) than that (8.7±1.8) in control subjects. The patients with GRS12 as a cut-off value had a 2.54 times higher (P = 0.0085) risk on HTG (maximum IOP22mmHg) compared with all patients. The IOP-related GRS approach substantiated that the IOP and VCDR were increased by the additive effects of IOP-related genetic variants in POAG. The high IOP-related GRS in patients with HTG but not NTG shows that there are differences in the genetic background between HTG and NTG and supports the notion that the phenotype (HTG or NTG) in patients with POAG depends on the additive effects of IOP-related genetic variants. The above-mentioned cut-off value of IOP-related GRS may be clinically useful for predicting the risk of IOP elevation.
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