Is Coffee Consumption associated with Age-related Macular Degeneration and Diabetic Retinopathy?

Neelam Kumari


Introduction Coffee is among the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Several epidemiological studies have evaluated the association between coffee consumption and risk of systemic diseases; however, there is paucity of data in relation to coffee consumption and risk of eye diseases.  This study aims to examine the relationship between coffee consumption and risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) in multiethnic population of Singapore.   Materials and MethodsWe analyzed the data from 4121 study participants from the Singapore Prospective Study Program to examine the relationship of coffee to prevalence of AMD and DR.  A standardized questionnaire that included information about the habitual amount of coffee consumed was completed by all study participants.  Presence and severity of AMD and DR was assessed on fundus photographs using the Mutiethnic Study of Atherosclerosis Grading Protocol. ResultsThe prevalence of AMD and DR in our population was 5.4% and 32.0%, respectively. A positive history of coffee consumption was present in 77.5% of AMD population and 76.1% of DR population with majority of participants consuming 1-2 cups of coffee daily.  No statistically significant association was observed between coffee consumption and odds of AMD or DR after adjusting for confounding factors [AMD: Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.27, Confidence Interval (CI) = 0.88-1.83, p = 0.20; DR: OR = 1.36, CI = 0.69-2.69, p = 0.37).  ConclusionThis epidemiological study of a large multiethnic population data set do not support the hypothesis that habitual intake of coffee and caffeine is associated with an altered risk of AMD and DR among Asians.


Coffee; caffeine; age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy

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