A new large-scale study has shown a link between high caffeine consumption and an increased risk of developing glaucoma in individuals with a genetic predisposition to elevated intraocular pressure.
The study, conducted by researchers in the UK and US, looked at the links between high caffeine intake (based on habitual coffee consumption) and elevations in ocular tension – which is known to increase the risk of glaucoma.
While the study generally reported conflicting results, it found that this risk was much higher in those individuals with a family history of glaucoma. On its own, caffeine consumption was not shown to influence intraocular pressure but, in those with a genetic predisposition, greater consumption was associated with higher glaucoma prevalence.
The study concluded that individuals with a genetic predisposition have a lower ability to withstand the challenges of elevations of intraocular pressure caused by caffeine consumption.
This is still a new area of research, but the initial findings are worrying for regular coffee drinkers with a family history of glaucoma.
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