Study finds, link between High Caffeine Consumption & Increa
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Consuming large amounts of daily caffeine may increase the risk of glaucoma more than 3-fold for those with a genetic predisposition to higher eye pressure according to an international, multi-center study.

The study suggests that patients with a strong family history of glaucoma should cut down on caffeine intake. It looks at the impact of caffeine intake on glaucoma, and intraocular pressure (IOP) which is pressure inside the eye. Elevated IOP is an integral risk factor for glaucoma, although other factors do contribute to this condition. With glaucoma, patients typically experience few or no symptoms until the disease progresses and they have vision loss.

This study shows that an adverse relation between high caffeine intake and glaucoma was evident only among those with the highest genetic risk score for elevated eye pressure.

A team of researchers used the UK Biobank, a large-scale population-based biomedical database supported by various health and governmental agencies. They analyzed records of more than 120,000 participants. Participants were between 39 and 73 years old and provided their health records along with DNA samples, collected to generate data. Three years into the study later they had their IOP checked and eye measurements.

Researchers first looked at the relationship looked between caffeine intake, IOP and self-reported glaucoma by running multivariable analysis. Then they assessed if accounting for genetic data modified these relationships. They assigned each subject an IOP genetic risk score and performed interaction analyses.

--The investigators found high caffeine intake was not associated with increased risk for higher IOP or glaucoma overall; however, among participants with the strongest genetic predisposition to elevated IOP – in the top 25 percentile - greater caffeine consumption was associated with higher IOP and higher glaucoma prevalence.

--More specifically, those who consumed the highest amount of daily caffeine– more than 480 milligrams which is roughly 4r cups of coffee – had a 0.35 mmHg higher IOP.

--Additionally, those in the highest genetic risk score category who consumed more than 321 milligrams of daily caffeine – roughly three cups of coffee - had a 3.9-fold higher glaucoma prevalence when compared to those who drink no or minimal caffeine and in lowest genetic risk score group.

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.