While family history of glaucoma is a known risk factor for glaucoma development, detailed data has been lacking up until this point. A team of Swedish researchers suggests that family history of glaucoma is a “strong predictor” for glaucoma and a useful tool in clinical risk assessments.

In a study evaluating the children of 8,468,265 individuals, researchers found that the overall familial risk of glaucoma was 2.82. The team notes that familial concordant risks were associated with a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) of 3.25 for primary open-angle glaucoma and 9.93 for primary angle-closure glaucoma. They add that “very high” familial risks were observed if at least two relatives were affected—patients who had multiple siblings with glaucoma had SIRs over 20.

“Information should be collected on parental/sibling glaucoma as part of the family history to help identify persons at risk for glaucoma,” the study concludes.

Li X, Sundquist J, Zöller B, et al. Familial risks of glaucoma in the population of Sweden. J Glaucoma. 2018;27(9):802-6.