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Astigmatism and myopia are two common ocular refractive errors that can impact daily life, including learning and productivity. Current knowledge suggests that the etiology of these conditions is the result of a complex interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Studies in populations of European ancestry have demonstrated a higher concordance of refractive errors in monozygotic (MZ) twins compared to dizygotic (DZ) twins. However, there is a lack of studies on genetically informative samples of multi-ethnic ancestry. This study aimed to estimate the genetic contribution to astigmatism and myopia in the Mexican population. A sample of 1399 families, including 243 twin pairs and 1156 single twins, completed a medical questionnaire about their own and their co-twin’s diagnosis of astigmatism and myopia. Concordance rates for astigmatism and myopia were estimated, and heritability and genetic correlations were determined using a bivariate ACE Cholesky decomposition method, decomposed into A (additive genetic), C (shared environmental) and E (unique environmental) components. The results showed a higher concordance rate for astigmatism and myopia for MZ twins (.74 and .74, respectively) than for DZ twins (.50 and .55). The AE model, instead of the ACE model, best fitted the data. Based on this, heritability estimates were .81 for astigmatism and .81 for myopia, with a cross-trait genetic correlation of rA = .80, nonshared environmental correlation rE = .89, and a phenotypic correlation of rP = .80. These results are consistent with previous findings in other populations, providing evidence for a similar genetic architecture of these conditions in the multi-ethnic Mexican population.
TwinsMX is a national twin registry in Mexico recently created with institutional support from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. It aims to serve as a platform to advance epidemiological and genetic research in the country and to disentangle the genetic and environmental contributions to health and disease in the admixed Mexican population. Here, we describe our recruitment and data collection strategies and discuss both the progress to date and future directions. More information about the registry is available on our website: https://twinsmxofficial.unam.mx/ (content in Spanish).
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