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Publication - Professor Jean Golding

    Grandmothers' smoking in pregnancy is associated with a reduced prevalence of early onset myopia.

    Citation

    Williams, CEM, Suderman, MJ, Guggenheim, JA, Ellis, GL, Gregory, SP, Iles-Caven, YL, Northstone, K, Golding, J & Pembrey, ME, 2019, ‘Grandmothers' smoking in pregnancy is associated with a reduced prevalence of early onset myopia.’. Scientific Reports, vol 9.

    Abstract

    Myopia (near sightedness) is the most common vision disorder resulting in visual impairment worldwide. We tested the hypothesis that intergenerational, non-genetic heritable effects influence refractive development, using grandparental prenatal smoking as a candidate exposure. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), we found that the prevalence of myopia at age 7 was lower if the paternal grandmother had smoked in pregnancy, an association primarily found among grandsons compared to granddaughters. There was a weaker, non-sex-specific, reduction in the prevalence of myopia at age 7 if the maternal grandmother had smoked in pregnancy. For children who became myopic later (between 7 and 15 years of age) there were no associations with either grandmother smoking. Differences between early and late-onset myopia were confirmed with DNA methylation patterns: there were very distinct and strong associations with methylation for early-onset but not later-onset myopia.

    Full details in the University publications repository