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New Study Links Caffeinated Coffee To Vision Loss 203

dsinc writes "A new study suggests caffeinated coffee drinkers should limit their intake to reduce their chances of developing vision loss or blindness. According to a scientific paper in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, heavy caffeinated coffee consumption is associated with an increased risk of developing exfoliation glaucoma (abstract), the leading cause of secondary glaucoma worldwide. '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.'"
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New Study Links Caffeinated Coffee To Vision Loss

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  • by gregor-e ( 136142 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @11:24AM (#41549507) Homepage
    It may be that people whose genetics predispose them to exfoliation glaucoma are also more than usually enchanted by coffee. Still, interesting observation.
  • by Tepar ( 87925 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @11:29AM (#41549563) Homepage

    From the abstract:
    Compared with participants whose cumulatively updated total caffeine consumption was <125 mg/day, participants who consumed 500 mg/day had a trend toward increased risk of EG/EGS that was not statistically significant (RR = 1.43; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.98–2.08); P trend = 0.06).

    If it's not statistically significant, then how can we take this seriously?

  • by blahbooboo ( 839709 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @11:33AM (#41549587)

    So in the last 6-12 months coffee and red wine have been show to prevent pretty much everything -- heart disease, dementia, hypertension, aging etc.
    Pop science is so tiring. Fact is all of these studies are incredibly dependent on the population.

    The only thing know for sure is living is hazardous to your health...

  • Re:Coffee is... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Thursday October 04, 2012 @11:37AM (#41549639)


    Personally I figure anything in moderation is probably less toxic than the world in general. If you enjoy coffee, drink a few cups a day and don't worry about it! Don't specifically drink coffee if you don't like it, and don't drink 15 cups a day..

    The interesting thing is that we worry about these kind of slight threats to our health, but ignore the absolute real killers: sitting on our asses for most fo the day, not getting enough sleep, eating food that is barely food, stress...

    I like to think any of those things are going to be a much bigger factor on my longevity than the cup of coffee I had this morning..

  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @11:44AM (#41549709) Homepage

    No, it means that you should stop reading dumb clinical articles taken out of context on Slashdot.

    This is just one of those hundreds of thousands of medical articles trawling the data for a correlation so somebody can chase after another grant. According to TFA, they reviewed records of almost 79000 people and came up with 360 cases of this particular form of glaucoma. Then they take the self reported caffeine intake, adjust for 'other confounders' (waves hands) and come up with a weak (Relative Risk [] 1.4) association that is barely statistically significant and likely not clinically significant at all.

    Hrumphh. Not impressed

    (Goes back to quaffing his Nuclear Waste level caffeinated beverage)

  • by metrometro ( 1092237 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @12:04PM (#41549939)

    It's all fatal. Some faster than others, I admit, but everyone eventually becomes infirm and dies and causality is pretty firm linked to existing in the world and doing things.

    So, can we have good regulators to worry about stuff like Chromium in tap water and just start ignoring the really subtle stuff?

  • by frosty_tsm ( 933163 ) on Thursday October 04, 2012 @01:35PM (#41551105)
    On top of this, why were people drinking so much coffee? Because they were working long days? Staying up late? Other activities that can lead to eye strain?

    Sorry but this sounds like correlation rather than causation.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's