The Potential of Current Polygenic Risk Scores to Predict High Myopia and Myopic Macular Degeneration in Multiethnic Singapore Adults

Irfahan Kassam, Li Lian Foo, Carla Lanca, Ling Qian Xu, Quan V. Hoang, Ching Yu Cheng, Pirro Hysi, Seang Mei Saw*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To evaluate the transancestry portability of current myopia polygenic risk scores (PRSs) to predict high myopia (HM) and myopic macular degeneration (MMD) in an Asian population. Design: Population-based study. Participants: A total of 5894 adults (2141 Chinese, 1913 Indian, and 1840 Malay) from the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Diseases study were included in the analysis. The mean ± standard deviation age was 57.05 ± 9.31 years. A total of 361 adults had a diagnosis of HM (spherical equivalent [SE] < –5.00 diopters [D]) from refraction measurements, 240 individuals had a diagnosis of MMD graded by the International Photographic Classification and Grading System for Myopic Maculopathy criteria from fundus photographs, and 3774 individuals were control participants without myopia (SE > –0.5 D). Methods: The PRS, derived from 687 289 HapMap3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from the largest genome-wide association study of myopia in Europeans to date (n = 260 974), was assessed on its ability to predict patients with HM and MMD versus control participants. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcomes were the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) to predict HM and MMD. Results: The PRS had an AUC of 0.73 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.70–0.75) for HM and 0.66 (95% CI, 0.63–0.70) for MMD versus no myopia. The inclusion of the PRS with other predictors (age, sex, educational attainment [EA], and ancestry; age-by-ancestry, sex-by-ancestry, and EA-by-ancestry interactions; and 20 genotypic principal components) increased the AUC to 0.84 (95% CI, 0.82–0.86) for HM and 0.79 (95% CI, 0.76–0.82) for MMD. Individuals with a PRS in the top 5% showed up to a 4.66 (95% CI, 3.34–6.42) times higher risk of HM developing and up to a 3.43 (95% CI, 2.27–5.05) times higher risk of MMD developing compared with the remaining 95% of individuals. Conclusions: The PRS is a good predictor for HM and facilitates the identification of high-risk children to prevent myopia progression to HM. In addition, the PRS also predicts MMD and helps to identify high-risk adults with myopia who require closer monitoring for myopia-related complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-902
Number of pages13
Issue number8
Early online date28 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • High myopia
  • Multiethnic
  • Myopic macular degeneration
  • Polygenic risk score
  • Prediction


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