As I reach for my third cup of coffee this morning I'm only slightly concerned that I won't get to sleep by my self-given curfew on a school night, but studies that have been completed in Washington would have me be more concerned that I might develop exfoliation glaucoma which is the leading cause of secondary glaucoma in the world.
The US study is the first to examine links between caffeinated coffee and exfoliation glaucoma in a United States based population.
Scandinavian populations have the highest frequencies of exfoliation syndrome and glaucoma and ALSO the highest consumption of caffeinated drinks worldwide, and it was previously found that this level of intake was associated with a higher risk of primary open-angle glaucoma. The US study was to evaluate whether the risk of exfoliation glaucoma was affected by coffee consumption.
Just under eighty thousand women and around forty one thousand men at least 40 years of age were used in the study that did not have glaucoma and reported undergoing eye examinations from 1980 (for NHS participants) and 1986 (for HPFS participants) to 2008.
Questionnaires were used and medical records to determine incident cases of exfoliation glaucoma a condition which contributes to high pressure sufficient enough to damage the optic nerve, or exfoliation glaucoma suspect that have milder or only suspect optic nerve damage.
Analysis compared to abstainers of drinking any caffeine drinks and the participants who drank three cups or more of caffeinated coffee daily were found to be at an increased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma or glaucoma suspect.
There were no associations found with consumption of other caffeinated products
The results also showed that women who had a family history of glaucoma were at an increased risk.