High Coffee Consumption May Increase Glaucoma Risk

Woman pouring herself hot coffee to a mug.
Close-up of a woman pouring herself hot filter coffee to a mug while staying at home.
The investigators reviewed genetic variants associated with primary open-angle glaucoma and coffee consumption.

Higher coffee consumption is associated with a higher risk of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG), according to research published in Ophthalmology. 

Researchers used a Mendelian randomization approach to identify genetic evidence that suggests coffee consumption has a causal relationship to POAG. They obtained data from a genome-wide association study of 121,824 participants and identified genetic variations associated with coffee consumption (phenotype 1 and phenotype 2). They also used coffee consumption data from the MRC-IEU UK Biobank and collected POAG data from multiple meta-analyses including individuals with POAG (16,677) and controls (199,580).

The team determined a significant association between coffee consumption and POAG using all variables. Phenotype 1 was significantly associated with a higher risk of POAG (OR=1.241; 95% CI, 1.041–1.480; P =.016). Likewise, the investigators noted a similar association between phenotype 2 and higher POAG risk (OR=1.155; 95% CI, 1.038-1.284; P =.008). Data from the MRC-IEU UK Biobank meta analysis solidified the association between higher coffee consumption and POAG (OR=1.707; 95% CI, 1.230-2.425; P =.002).

“These findings provide the genetic evidence that high coffee consumption is associated with a higher risk of POAG,” according to the researchers. “Given that coffee is widely consumed, our findings provide new insights into potential strategies to prevent and manage POAG.”

Study limitations include the overrepresentation of individuals of European ancestry in the study sample, reliance on self-reporting for some coffee consumption data, and failure to account for various coffee types and strengths. 


Li X, Cheng S, Cheng J, Wang M, Zhong Y, Yu A-Y. Habitual coffee consumption increases risk of primary open-angle glaucoma: a Mendelian randomization study. Ophthalmol. Published online May 7, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2022.04.027