A new study indicates that increased schooling is linked to a greater risk of nearsightedness in the presence of 5 genetic variants.
A new study published by a group led by Jeremy Guggenheim of Cardiff University in the journal PLOS Genetics has uncovered 5 genetic variants which significantly increase an individual’s risk of getting nearsightedness as they spend more time in college.
Nearsightedness is a common eye disorder which leads to irreversible vision impairment, particularly in older individuals, and typically begins in childhood. The condition is believed to be caused by a mix of genetics, short time spent outdoors, and prolonged years of education.
Research has identified over 450 genetic variants associated with a heightened risk of nearsightedness, though none were found to increase the risk of individuals with the associated lifestyle factors. Hereditary and health information from over 340,000 individuals with European heritage had been utilized in the research. They’ve carried out a genome-wide analysis to determine genetic variants which result in individuals to become nearsighted when they’re educated intensively.
5 genetic variants have been discovered that increased the chance of becoming nearsighted for individuals who spent more time in school, particularly for individuals who had finished university education. Of these variants, 3 had been at one time unknown, while two have been discovered in studies of East Asian cohorts, where more or less 80 % of kids become nearsighted. In the West, approximately 30 % of kids develop nearsightedness. They discovered new insights into the biological pathways which lead to nearsightedness, but additional research is necessary to understand how those pathways interact with lifestyle factors to result in the problem.
“myopia is a major reason for uncorrectable vision impairment, along with needing the use of glasses or contact lenses,” Guggenheim said. “Building on our earlier investigation, this study finds five genes related to myopia development, whose effects are amplified by extra years spent in education,” it stated.