Caffeine intake linked with low birth weight

Consuming caffeine at any time during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction (low birth weight), according to research.

iStockphoto
iStockphoto

The BMJ study also shows that any amount and type of caffeine intake, from tea, cola, chocolate, cocoa and some prescription drugs, as well as coffee, is linked with relatively slower fetal growth.

Dr Justin Konje and colleagues from the University of Leicester as well as collaborators from the University of Leeds, examined the association of maternal caffeine intake and individual caffeine metabolism on birth weight.

From two large teaching hospitals in the UK between September 2003 and June 2006 the authors recruited 2,645 low-risk pregnant women of average age 30 who were between 8-12 weeks pregnant.

They recorded caffeine intake from all possible dietary sources in the 4 weeks before and throughout pregnancy, and also used a saliva sample test to calculate individual caffeine metabolism.

Most of the babies were born at full term, while 4% were born prematurely, 0.3% were stillborn and 0.7% were miscarried late.

The authors found a ‘dose-response relationship’, showing that increasing caffeine intake was associated with increasing risk of fetal growth restriction.

Compared with pregnant women consuming less than 100mg/day (less than one cup of coffee), the risk estimates of having a lower birth weight baby increased by 20% for intakes of 100-199mg/day, by 50% for those taking between 200-299mg/day and by 40% for over 300mg/day.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

GP training: Working remotely as a GP trainee during the pandemic

GP training: Working remotely as a GP trainee during the pandemic

Dr Zoe Brown was in her first year of GP training and pregnant as lockdown began....

GPs warn government off PCN-led test and trace system

GPs warn government off PCN-led test and trace system

GPs have rebuffed suggestions that primary care networks (PCNs) are ‘best placed’...

Map: Three-fold variation in GP practice list size between CCGs

Map: Three-fold variation in GP practice list size between CCGs

The list size of GP practices across England has grown rapidly over the past decade...

Advance decisions to refuse treatment - what GPs need to know

Advance decisions to refuse treatment - what GPs need to know

A recent case has underlined the need for GPs to communicate a patient’s known wishes...

Law changed to allow physios and paramedics to administer vaccines during pandemic

Law changed to allow physios and paramedics to administer vaccines during pandemic

A wider range of healthcare workers will be allowed to administer flu and potential...

Medicines shortages drive up GP workload as prescribing costs surge £158m

Medicines shortages drive up GP workload as prescribing costs surge £158m

Medicines shortages in England are continuing to drive up GP workload during the...