Damage to the optic nerve (e.g. from glaucoma) has an adverse and often irreversible impact on vision. Earlier studies have suggested that the size of the optic nerve head could be governed by hereditary factors. We conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 4445 Singaporean individuals (n = 2132 of Indian and n = 2313 of Malay ancestry, respectively), with replication in Rotterdam, the Netherlands (n = 9326 individuals of Caucasian ancestry) using the most widely reported parameter for optic disc traits, the optic disc area. We identified a novel locus on chromosome 22q13.1, CARD10, which strongly associates with optic disc area in both Singaporean cohorts as well as in the Rotterdam Study (RS; rs9607469, per-allele change in optic disc area = 0.051 mm(2); P(meta) = 2.73×10(-12)) and confirmed the association between CDC7/TGFBR3 (lead single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1192415, P(meta) = 7.57×10(-17)) and ATOH7 (lead SNP rs7916697, P(meta) = 2.00 × 10(-15)) and optic disc area in Asians. This is the first Asian-based GWAS on optic disc area, identifying a novel locus for the optic disc area, but also confirming the results found in Caucasian persons suggesting that there are general genetic determinants applicable to the size of the optic disc across different ethnicities
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