Caffeine May Raise Risk of Inherited Glaucoma
Folks with a mum or dad or sibling identified with glaucoma ought to contemplate limiting caffeine to the quantity in two cups of coffee a day, says Louis Pasquale, MD, an ophthalmology professor at Mount Sinai Well being System in New York Metropolis.
“It’s a suggestion,” he says. “It’s not one thing set in stone, however in case you’re curious about lowering your threat of the illness, it’s one thing I might positively entertain.”
Pascale and his colleagues reported their findings in Ophthalmology.
Glaucoma causes injury to the optic nerve, typically from elevated strain from a buildup of fluid inside the attention. It may possibly trigger blindness.
The illness is extra frequent in folks with shut members of the family who’ve it. And researchers have recognized variants in a number of genes which can be extra frequent in folks with glaucoma.
In earlier research, individuals who take giant doses of caffeine have had non permanent will increase in eye strain. So researchers have puzzled whether or not getting caffeine over a protracted time frame might pose a threat.
To assist reply that query, Pasquale and his colleagues appeared on the information of greater than 100,000 folks. The information got here from the UK Biobank, a big survey performed in the UK. The information included info on sufferers’ genes, how a lot tea or espresso they drank, their eye strain, and whether or not they had glaucoma.
Taking a look at all of the individuals collectively, the researchers didn’t discover any elevated threat of glaucoma from caffeine. In actual fact, they discovered that individuals who bought essentially the most caffeine really had barely decrease eye strain.
However after they appeared solely at folks whose genes had been related to glaucoma, they discovered that caffeine was linked to increased common eye strain and likewise to a better threat of glaucoma.
That was notably true after they appeared on the 25% of people that bought greater than 321 milligrams of caffeine — the equal of three cups of espresso — a day. When these folks had been additionally within the prime 25% of genetic threat for elevated eye strain, that they had a a lot increased threat of glaucoma. They had been nearly 4 occasions extra prone to have the illness than individuals who didn’t eat caffeine and had been on the lowest 25% genetic threat.
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 increased eye strain or glaucoma for espresso, just for tea. However that’s seemingly due to a statistical drawback, says examine co-author Anthony Khawaja, affiliate professor on the College School London Institute of Ophthalmology. “The reply is sort of easy− the UK is a tea ingesting nation!” he says in an electronic mail. There have been in all probability not sufficient folks within the database who drink giant quantities of espresso to investigate their glaucoma threat.
Folks in each the highest 25% for genetic threat and prime 25% for tea ingesting (3 to six cups of tea a day), had been nearly thrice as prone to have glaucoma in comparison with these within the lowest 25% for tea ingesting and lowest 25% for genetic threat.
Nevertheless, such a examine can not show that caffeine will increase the danger of glaucoma or excessive eye strain, even amongst folks with a genetic threat, Pasquale says. He and his colleagues want to do a follow-up examine through which they offer caffeine to teams of individuals with completely different genetic dangers, then examine the results on eye strain.
Sufferers mustn’t depend on altering their caffeine consumption as a approach of treating their glaucoma, says Asaf Achiron, MD, an ophthalmologist on the Sackler College of Drugs in Tel Aviv, Israel, who has studied the connection of way of life and eye strain. Caffeine didn’t have a giant impact for most individuals within the examine, he factors out.
“Glaucoma is a posh illness. In some circumstances it continues to progress even when [eye pressure] is lowered by the drops so clearly there are extra points right here than strain,” he says in an electronic mail.
Nonetheless, the discovering is likely to be value mentioning to sufferers, he says. “I do not talk about tea with my sufferers simply measure their [eye pressure]. Maybe I ought to.”