PURPOSE:To describe the study protocol and baseline characteristics of the African Descent and Glaucoma Evaluation Study (ADAGES) III. DESIGN:Cross-sectional, case-control study. PARTICIPANTS:Three thousand two hundred sixty-six glaucoma patients and control participants without glaucoma of African or European descent were recruited from 5 study centers in different regions of the United States. METHODS:Individuals of African descent (AD) and European descent (ED) with primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and control participants completed a detailed demographic and medical history interview. Standardized height, weight, and blood pressure measurements were obtained. Saliva and blood samples to provide serum, plasma, DNA, and RNA were collected for standardized processing. Visual fields, stereoscopic disc photographs, and details of the ophthalmic examination were obtained and transferred to the University of California, San Diego, Data Coordinating Center for standardized processing and quality review. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Participant gender, age, race, body mass index, blood pressure, history of smoking and alcohol use in POAG patients and control participants were described. Ophthalmic measures included intraocular pressure, visual field mean deviation, central corneal thickness, glaucoma medication use, or past glaucoma surgery. Ocular conditions, including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and past cataract surgery, were recorded. RESULTS:The 3266 ADAGES III study participants in this report include 2146 AD POAG patients, 695 ED POAG patients, 198 AD control participants, and 227 ED control participants. The AD POAG patients and control participants were significantly younger (both, 67.4 years) than ED POAG patients and control participants (73.4 and 70.2 years, respectively). After adjusting for age, AD POAG patients had different phenotypic characteristics compared with ED POAG patients, including higher intraocular pressure, worse visual acuity and visual field mean deviation, and thinner corneas (all P < 0.001). Family history of glaucoma did not differ between AD and ED POAG patients. CONCLUSIONS:With its large sample size, extensive specimen collection, and deep phenotyping of AD and ED glaucoma patients and control participants from different regions in the United States, the ADAGES III genomics study will address gaps in our knowledge of the genetics of POAG in this high-risk population.