Purpose: To investigate whether the 2 subtypes of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), choroidal neovascularization (CNV), and geographic atrophy (GA) segregate separately in families and to identify which genetic variants are associated with these 2 subtypes. Design: Sibling correlation study and genome-wide association study (GWAS). Participants: For the sibling correlation study, 209 sibling pairs with advanced AMD were included. For the GWAS, 2594 participants with advanced AMD subtypes and 4134 controls were included. Replication cohorts included 5383 advanced AMD participants and 15 240 controls. Methods: Participants had the AMD grade assigned based on fundus photography, examination, or both. To determine heritability of advanced AMD subtypes, a sibling correlation study was performed. For the GWAS, genome-wide genotyping was conducted and 6 036 699 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were imputed. Then, the SNPs were analyzed with a generalized linear model controlling for genotyping platform and genetic ancestry. The most significant associations were evaluated in independent cohorts. Main Outcome Measures: Concordance of advanced AMD subtypes in sibling pairs and associations between SNPs with GA and CNV advanced AMD subtypes. Results: The difference between the observed and expected proportion of siblings concordant for the same subtype of advanced AMD was different to a statistically significant degree (P = 4.2×10-5), meaning that in siblings of probands with CNV or GA, the same advanced subtype is more likely to develop. In the analysis comparing participants with CNV to those with GA, a statistically significant association was observed at the ARMS2/HTRA1 locus (rs10490924; odds ratio [OR], 1.47; P = 4.3×10-9), which was confirmed in the replication samples (OR, 1.38; P = 7.4×10-14 for combined discovery and replication analysis). Conclusions: Whether CNV versus GA develops in a patient with AMD is determined in part by genetic variation. In this large GWAS meta-analysis and replication analysis, the ARMS2/HTRA1 locus confers increased risk for both advanced AMD subtypes, but imparts greater risk for CNV than for GA. This locus explains a small proportion of the excess sibling correlation for advanced AMD subtype. Other loci were detected with suggestive associations that differ for advanced AMD subtypes and deserve follow-up in additional studies. Financial Disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.
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