A recent study has reportedly observed an association between heavier coffee consumption and increased risk of exfoliation glaucoma or exfoliation glaucoma suspect (EG/EGS). Louis Pasquale, et al., “The Relationship between Caffeine and Coffee Consumption and Exfoliation Glaucoma or Glaucoma Suspect: A Prospective Study in Two Cohorts,” Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, September 2012. Researchers with the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, used eye examination data and follow-up questionnaires from 78,977 women and 41,202 men enrolled in health studies to determine that those who reported drinking three or more cups of caffeinated coffee each day were more likely to develop EG/EGS than those who abstained. The study also found that this risk increased for women with a family history of glaucoma, but did not identify a similar association between EG/EGS and other caffeinated products, such as soda or tea, or decaffeinated coffee.

“Because this is the first study to evaluate the association between caffeinated coffee and exfoliation glaucoma in a U.S. population, confirmation of these results in other populations would be needed to lend more credence to the possibility that caffeinated coffee might be a modifiable risk factor for glaucoma,” the study’s lead author said in an October 3, 2012, press release. “It may also lead to research into other dietary or lifestyle factors as risk factors.”