Washington: Heavy caffeinated coffee drinkers are at increased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma, the leading cause of secondary glaucoma worldwide, according to a new study. The study is the first to examine the link between caffeinated coffee and exfoliation glaucoma in a U.S. –based population.“Scandinavian populations have the highest frequencies of exfoliation syndrome and glaucoma,” said author, Jae Hee Kang, ScD, of Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women``s Hospital in Boston, Mass.“Because Scandinavian populations also have the highest consumption of caffeinated coffee in the world, and our research group has previously found that greater caffeinated coffee intake was associated with increased risk of primary open-angle glaucoma, we conducted this study to evaluate whether the risk of exfoliation glaucoma or glaucoma suspect may be different by coffee consumption,” he stated.The study was composed of two cohorts: 78,977 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) and 41,202 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) who were at least 40 years of age, did not have glaucoma and reported undergoing eye examinations from 1980 (for NHS participants) and 1986 (for HPFS participants) to 2008.The research team used questionnaires to obtain and validate the consumption of beverages containing caffeine and reviewed medical records to determine incident cases of exfoliation glaucoma, which contributes to elevated pressure sufficient enough to damage the optic nerve, or exfoliation glaucoma suspect that have milder or only suspect optic nerve damage.
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