Coffee may prevent blepharospasm

August 22, 2007

People who drink coffee are less likely to develop primary late onset blepharospasm.

People who drink coffee are less likely to develop primary late onset blepharospasm (BSP), according to a report published online ahead of print by the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Giovanni Defazio from the University of Bari, Italy and co-workers, investigated the effects of coffee and smoking in 166 patients with primary late onset BSP, 228 hospital control patients with primary hemifacial spasm and 187 population control subjects.

Unadjusted logistic regression analysis demonstrated a significant inverse association of prior coffee drinking and smoking with case status for the control groups. After adjusting for age, sex, disease duration, referral centre, years of schooling and coffee drinking/cigarette smoking, the smoking estimate lacked significance, whereas the association with coffee intake and BSP did not. The strength of the inverse association between BSP and coffee intake, tended to increase with the average number of cups drunk per day and there was a significant correlation between age of BSP onset and the number of cups per day, whereas no correlation was discovered with the number of packs of cigarettes per day.

It was concluded that coffee drinking may be inversely associated with the development of primary BSP and that this association may depend, in part, on the amount of coffee consumed.