A new study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, suggests coffee drinkers may need to reconsider their coffee intake to decrease their probability of developing vision loss or blindness. Scandinavian populations have the highest frequencies of exfoliation syndrome and glaucoma. They also have the highest consumption of caffeinated coffee in the world. The investigators had previously found that greater caffeinated coffee intake was associated with increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma.
Researchers used surveys to acquire and verify the consumption of beverages that included caffeine and analyzed medical records to find incident cases of exfoliation glaucoma, which encourages elevated pressure enough to damage the optic nerve, or presumed exfoliation glaucoma that may have done slight damage to the optic nerve.
Findings of the meta-analysis showed that compared with people who abstain from caffeinated coffee, participants who drank three or more cups daily, were at an increased risk of developing glaucoma exfoliation or glaucoma suspect. Investigators did not find any correlations with consumption of other caffeinated products, such as, tea, soda, chocolate, or decaffeinated coffee. Outcomes also showed women with a family history of glaucoma had an elevated risk.
Dr Ashraf points out that this is by no means a reason to stop drinking coffee. He does point out that anyone with a family history of glaucoma should have regular eye exams by an ophthalmologist.
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