To Your Health
May, 2008 (Vol. 02, Issue 05)
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Increased Caffeine Intake Could Lead to Miscarriage

By Editorial Staff

With today's busy schedules, many Americans would probably admit to being addicted to caffeine. For women who become pregnant, giving up those daily diet Cokes or morning sojourns to Starbucks can be a bittersweet sacrifice. However, research offers moms-to-be all the more reason to hold off on that afternoon pick-me-up or morning cup of joe.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology found that an increasing dose of daily caffeine intake during pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of miscarriage. The study was conducted among San Francisco and South San Francisco pregnant members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program from October 1996 through October 1998. Of 2,729 eligible women, 1,063 ultimately completed an interview that assessed daily caffeine intake and rates of miscarriage.

A pregnant woman holding a cup of coffee. - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Overall, 172 women miscarried (16.2%); 264 women (25%) reported no daily caffeine consumption; 635 women (60%) reported consuming 0-200 mg of caffeine every day; and 164 women (15%) reported consuming 200 mg or more of caffeine daily.

Researchers concluded, "The results from our prospective cohort study supported previous findings that high caffeine consumption during pregnancy may increase the risk of miscarriage. We provided new evidence that the observed association was not likely the result of confounding by the pregnancy-related symptoms of nausea, vomiting, and aversion to caffeine consumption. Therefore, it may be prudent to stop or reduce caffeine intake during pregnancy."