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Caffeine May Raise Risk of Inherited Glaucoma

June 10, 2021 — People who drink loads of caffeine have a better danger of glaucoma, however provided that their genes already make them vulnerable to the attention illness, researchers say.

People with a dad or mum or sibling recognized with glaucoma ought to contemplate limiting caffeine to the quantity in two cups of espresso a day, says Louis Pasquale, MD, an ophthalmology professor at Mount Sinai Health System in New York City.

“It’s a suggestion,” he says. “It’s not something set in stone, but if you’re interested in reducing your risk of the disease, it’s something I would definitely entertain.”

Pascale and his colleagues reported their findings in Ophthalmology.

Glaucoma causes harm to the optic nerve, usually from elevated strain from a buildup of fluid inside the attention. It may cause blindness.

The illness is extra frequent in individuals with shut members of the family who’ve it. And researchers have recognized variants in a number of genes which might be extra frequent in individuals with glaucoma.

In earlier research, individuals who take giant doses of caffeine have had non permanent will increase in eye strain. So researchers have questioned whether or not getting caffeine over an extended interval of time may pose a danger.

To assist reply that query, Pasquale and his colleagues appeared on the information of greater than 100,000 individuals. The information got here from the UK Biobank, a big survey carried out within the United Kingdom. The information included data on sufferers’ genes, how a lot tea or espresso they drank, their eye strain, and whether or not they had glaucoma.

Looking in any respect the contributors collectively, the researchers didn’t discover any elevated danger of glaucoma from caffeine. In reality, they discovered that individuals who obtained probably the most caffeine really had barely decrease eye strain.

But once they appeared solely at individuals whose genes had been related to glaucoma, they discovered that caffeine was linked to greater common eye strain and likewise to a better danger of glaucoma.

That was notably true once they appeared on the 25% of individuals who obtained greater than 321 milligrams of caffeine — the equal of three cups of espresso — a day. When these individuals had been additionally within the prime 25% of genetic danger for elevated eye strain, they’d a a lot greater danger of glaucoma. They had been virtually 4 occasions extra more likely to have the illness than individuals who didn’t eat caffeine and had been on the lowest 25% genetic danger.

The researchers discovered that the mixture of caffeine and genes elevated the danger of glaucoma greater than the genes alone.

The researchers couldn’t discover a statistical hyperlink to greater eye strain or glaucoma for espresso, just for tea. But that’s probably as a result of of a statistical drawback, says research co-author Anthony Khawaja, affiliate professor on the University College London Institute of Ophthalmology. “The answer is quite simple− the UK is a tea drinking nation!” he says in an e mail. There had been most likely not sufficient individuals within the database who drink giant quantities of espresso to investigate their glaucoma danger.

People in each the highest 25% for genetic danger and prime 25% for tea ingesting (3 to six cups of tea a day), had been virtually 3 times as more likely to have glaucoma in comparison with these within the lowest 25% for tea ingesting and lowest 25% for genetic danger.

However, this sort of research can’t show that caffeine will increase the danger of glaucoma or excessive eye strain, even amongst individuals with a genetic danger, Pasquale says. He and his colleagues want to do a follow-up research by which they offer caffeine to teams of individuals with totally different genetic dangers, then evaluate the results on eye strain.

Patients mustn’t depend on altering their caffeine consumption as a approach of treating their glaucoma, says Asaf Achiron, MD, an ophthalmologist on the Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, who has studied the connection of way of life and eye strain. Caffeine didn’t have an enormous impact for most individuals within the research, he factors out.

“Glaucoma is a complex disease. In some cases it continues to progress even when [eye pressure] is lowered by the drops so clearly there are more issues here than pressure,” he says in an e mail.

Still, the discovering could be value mentioning to sufferers, he says. “I don’t discuss tea with my patients just measure their [eye pressure]. Perhaps I should.”

WebMD Health News


Ophthalmology: “Intraocular Pressure, Glaucoma, and Dietary Caffeine Consumption.”

Louis Pasquale, MD, ophthalmology professor, Mount Sinai Health System, New York City.

Anthony Khawaja, affiliate professor, University College London Institute of Ophthalmology.

Asaf Achiron, MD, ophthalmologist, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv, Israel.

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