Purpose To determine whether there is an association between polymorphisms of the AKR1B1 gene and cortical cataract in the presence of hyperglycemia.
Methods In the second cross section of the Blue Mountains Eye Study (BMES), 3508 participants (2334 at 5-year follow-up and 1174 newly recruited participants) were examined during 1997 to 2000. Cataract was graded from lens photographs using the Wisconsin Cataract Grading System. Fasting blood glucose (FBG) was measured. Continuous imputed dosages of minor alleles of 17 AKR1B1 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed for associations with prevalent cortical cataract. Gene-environment interactions between SNPs and FBG were examined. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for prevalent cortical cataract were estimated using logistic regression adjusting for age, sex, smoking, hypertension, education, and myopia. A P value of 0.005 was considered statistically significant after correction for 10 independent tests. Replication of significant associations found in the BMES sample was conducted in the Singapore Epidemiology of Eye Diseases (SEED) study (n = 10,033).
Results No polymorphism was associated with prevalent cortical cataract. A significant interaction was observed between rs9640883 and FBG (Pinteraction = 0.004), with increased cortical cataract prevalence associated with rs9640883 minor allele dosage in those with FBG >6.0 mM (strata-specific OR 1.72, 95% CI 1.09-2.72). No similar association was found in participants with normal FBG (OR 0.85, 95% CI 0.69-1.04). This interaction was not evident in the SEED study.
Conclusions The identified interaction between rs9640883 and FBG in relation to cortical cataract was not replicated but may warrant further investigation.