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PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37979. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0037979. Epub 2012 May 30.

Modelling the genetic risk in age-related macular degeneration.

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  • 1Institute of Human Genetics, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

Abstract

Late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common sight-threatening disease of the central retina affecting approximately 1 in 30 Caucasians. Besides age and smoking, genetic variants from several gene loci have reproducibly been associated with this condition and likely explain a large proportion of disease. Here, we developed a genetic risk score (GRS) for AMD based on 13 risk variants from eight gene loci. The model exhibited good discriminative accuracy, area-under-curve (AUC) of the receiver-operating characteristic of 0.820, which was confirmed in a cross-validation approach. Noteworthy, younger AMD patients aged below 75 had a significantly higher mean GRS (1.87, 95% CI: 1.69-2.05) than patients aged 75 and above (1.45, 95% CI: 1.36-1.54). Based on five equally sized GRS intervals, we present a risk classification with a relative AMD risk of 64.0 (95% CI: 14.11-1131.96) for individuals in the highest category (GRS 3.44-5.18, 0.5% of the general population) compared to subjects with the most common genetic background (GRS -0.05-1.70, 40.2% of general population). The highest GRS category identifies AMD patients with a sensitivity of 7.9% and a specificity of 99.9% when compared to the four lower categories. Modeling a general population around 85 years of age, 87.4% of individuals in the highest GRS category would be expected to develop AMD by that age. In contrast, only 2.2% of individuals in the two lowest GRS categories which represent almost 50% of the general population are expected to manifest AMD. Our findings underscore the large proportion of AMD cases explained by genetics particularly for younger AMD patients. The five-category risk classification could be useful for therapeutic stratification or for diagnostic testing purposes once preventive treatment is available.

PMID:
22666427
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3364197
Free PMC Article

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