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Glaucoma is characterized by irreversible optic nerve degeneration and is the most frequent cause of irreversible blindness worldwide. Here, the International Glaucoma Genetics Consortium conducts a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of vertical cup-disc ratio (VCDR), an important disease-related optic nerve parameter. In 21,094 individuals of European ancestry and 6,784 individuals of Asian ancestry, we identify 10 new loci associated with variation in VCDR. In a separate risk-score analysis of five case-control studies, Caucasians in the highest quintile have a 2.5-fold increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma as compared with those in the lowest quintile. This study has more than doubled the known loci associated with optic disc cupping and will allow greater understanding of mechanisms involved in this common blinding condition.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature communications

Publication Date





1] Department of Ophthalmology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands [2] Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam 3000 CA, The Netherlands.


Blue Mountains Eye Study—GWAS group, NEIGHBORHOOD Consortium, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Optic Nerve, Optic Disk, Humans, Glaucoma, Case-Control Studies, Gene Expression Profiling, Gene Frequency, Genotype, Phenotype, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Asian Continental Ancestry Group, European Continental Ancestry Group, Genome-Wide Association Study