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Refractive Errors in Twin Studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Mohamed Dirani*
Affiliation:
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia; Vision Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, Australia. m.dirani@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au
Matthew Chamberlain
Affiliation:
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Pam Garoufalis
Affiliation:
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia; Vision Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, Australia.
Christine Chen
Affiliation:
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia; Vision Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, Australia.
Robyn H. Guymer
Affiliation:
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Paul N. Baird
Affiliation:
Centre for Eye Research Australia, University of Melbourne, Australia; Vision Cooperative Research Centre, Sydney, Australia.
*
*Address for correspondence: Mohamed Dirani, Centre for Eye Research Australia, The University of Melbourne, 32 Gisborne St, East Melbourne 3002, Australia.

Abstract

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It is estimated that 1.6 billion people worldwide have myopia, a refractive error, and this number is expected to increase to approximately 2.5 billion by the year 2020. It is now well established that both the environment and genetics play a role in the development of myopia. However, the exact contribution of each of these components to myopia development has yet to be completely determined. Twin studies (classical twin model) are commonly used to determine the weighting of genetic and environmental components in disease. Over the last century, twin studies have investigated the heritability of refractive errors in different sample populations and have collectively supported a genetic basis to refractive errors. However, different sample populations and methods of data collection have produced a wide range of heritability estimates ranging from .5 to .9. This article will review those twin studies that have investigated refractive error, particularly myopia, as well as biometric measures linked to refractive error, to compare heritability estimates and methodology designs.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006