Consuming large amounts of caffeine daily can more than triple the risk of glaucoma for those with a genetic predisposition to higher eye pressure according to an international multicenter study. Research led by the Icahn School of Medicine on Mount Sinai is the first to demonstrate a dietary genetic interaction in glaucoma. The results of the study published in the June issue of Ophthalmology may suggest that patients with a strong family history of glaucoma should reduce caffeine intake.
The study is important because glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the United States. The impact of caffeine glaucoma intake i intraocular pressure (PIO) which is the pressure inside the eye. Elevated IOP is a comprehensive risk factor for glaucoma, although other factors contribute to this condition. With glaucoma, patients usually experience few or no symptoms until the disease progresses and they have vision loss.
“We previously published work suggesting that high caffeine consumption increased the risk of high-voltage open-angle glaucoma among people with a family history of disease. In this study we show that an adverse relationship between high caffeine consumption and glaucoma was only evident among those with the highest genetic risk score for high eye pressure, ”says lead author / correspondent Louis R. Pasquale, MD, FARVO, vice president of ophthalmology research at Mount Health System Sinai.
A team of researchers used the UK Biobank, a large-scale population-based biomedical database supported by various government and health agencies. They analyzed the records of more than 120,000 participants between 2006 and 2010. Participants ranged in age from 39 to 73 and provided their health records along with DNA samples, collected to generate data. They answered repeated dietary questionnaires focusing on the amount of caffeinated beverages made daily, the amount of caffeinated foods they ate, the specific types, and the portion sizes. They also answered questions about their vision, including details about whether they have glaucoma or a family history of glaucoma. Three years after the study, IOP was reviewed and eyes were measured.
The researchers first examined the relationship between caffeine intake, IOP, and self-reported glaucoma by performing multivariate analyzes. They then assessed whether genetic data accounting modified these relationships. They assigned each subject a PIO genetic risk score and performed interaction analyzes.
The researchers found that high caffeine intake was not associated with an increased risk of IOP or higher glaucoma overall; however, among the participants with the strongest genetic predisposition in high IOP — in the top 25th percentile — higher caffeine consumption was associated with higher IOP and a higher prevalence of glaucoma. More specifically, those who consumed the most daily caffeine (more than 480 milligrams, approximately four cups of coffee) had a higher IOP of 0.35 mmHg. In addition, those in the highest genetic risk score category who consumed more than 321 milligrams of caffeine daily (approximately three cups of coffee) had a 3.9-fold higher prevalence of glaucoma compared to those who did not. they drink caffeine or a minimal caffeine and with a lower genetic risk score group.
“Patients with glaucoma often wonder if they can help protect their eyesight through lifestyle changes, but this has been a relatively little-studied area so far. This study suggested that those with the highest genetic risk of glaucoma could benefit from moderating your caffeine intake. It should be noted that the link between caffeine risk and glaucoma was only seen with a large amount of caffeine and in those with the highest genetic risk, ”says co-author Anthony Khawaja, MD, Ph.D., associate professor of the University of Ophthalmology College of London (UCL) Institute of Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Surgeon of Moorfields Eye Hospital. ”The UK Biobank study helps us learn more than ever about how our genes affect our glaucoma risk and the role that our behaviors and our environment could play. We look forward to further expanding our knowledge in this area. ”
Mount Sinai Hospital
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