Three cups of coffee a day increases glaucoma risk

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coffee and glaucoma risk

This article was originally written for Optometry Today.

Study finds high coffee intake increases odds of developing glaucoma among patients with genetic predisposition towards elevated eye pressure

Researchers have published new findings connecting coffee intake to glaucoma among patients with a family history of elevated intraocular pressure (IOP).

The study, which was published in Ophthalmology, involved analysing UK Biobank records of 120,000 people collected between 2006 and 2010.

Scientists examined the relationship between IOP, caffeine intake and self-reported glaucoma diagnosis. They also assigned each participant an IOP genetic risk score.

Coffee and glaucoma risk

Overall, high caffeine intake was not associated with a risk of developing elevated IOP or glaucoma.

However, among people with a genetic predisposition towards high IOP, greater caffeine consumption was linked to a higher IOP and higher glaucoma prevalence.

Those in the highest genetic risk category had a 3.9 times greater chance of developing glaucoma if they consumed three cups of coffee a day, compared with those in the lowest genetic risk group who drank no caffeine.

Co-author Anthony Khawaja, from University College London and Moorfields Eye Hospital, shared that the study illustrated those with a high genetic risk of glaucoma may benefit from moderating their caffeine intake.

“It should be noted that the link between caffeine and glaucoma risk was only seen with a large amount of caffeine and in those with the highest genetic risk,” he said.