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February 1996

Open-angle Glaucoma and Blood Groups: The Barbados Eye Study

Author Affiliations

From the University Medical Center at Stony Brook (NY) (Drs Leske, Nemesure, He, Mendell, and Polednak); the Barbados Eye Study Group also includes the Ministry of Health, Barbados, West Indies, and The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. Dr Polednak is now with the Connecticut Department of Health Services, Hartford.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(2):205-210. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100130199017

Objective:  To evaluate the association of open-angle glaucoma (OAG) with ABO, Rh and Duffy blood groups in the population-based Barbados Eye Study.

Design:  Case-control study.

Setting and Participants:  A subset of black Barbados Eye Study participants, which included 199 OAG cases and 1063 controls.

Data Collection:  ABO, Rh and Duffy blood groups were determined as part of a comprehensive study visit, which included assessment for OAG through perimetry, fundus photography, and ophthalmologic examination.

Outcome Measures:  Comparison of blood groups between OAG cases and non-OAG controls, expressed as odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals.

Results:  Associations were found with the Duffy Fya+ group, which is more frequent in white than black populations. In Mantel-Haenszel analyses, OAG was positively associated with Duffy Fya+ in men (odds ratio, 2.67; confidence interval, 1.52 to 4.69) and in persons with intraocular pressure more than 21 mm Hg (odds ratio, 3.32; confidence interval, 1.49 to 7.38). Logistic regression analyses confirmed these findings (interaction of Duffy Fya+ and male gender, P=.01; interaction of Duffy Fya+ and intraocular pressure, P=.04). No associations between OAG and the ABO or Rh blood groups were seen.

Conclusions:  The associations with Duffy Fya+, which had not been reported previously in a black population, support the involvement of genetic factors in OAG. However, the lack of association between OAG and blood group markers of African ancestry is inconsistent with a genetic explanation for the differences in OAG prevalence between blacks and whites. Our findings suggest gene-environment interactions in OAG, to be explored by further studies of OAG and Fy markers by racial group and gender.

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