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Once Again, Caffeine Linked to Miscarriage
Date:1/21/2008

Drinking more than 200 milligrams daily doubles risk, study finds,,,,

MONDAY, Jan. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Caffeine consumption by pregnant women can increase the risk of miscarriage, a new study reports.

And, it doesn't matter if the caffeine comes from coffee, tea, soda or hot chocolate. What does matter is the amount -- the study found that when women drink more than 200 milligrams of caffeine daily, the risk of miscarriage increases twofold.

"What we found was that if women have heavy caffeine intake -- greater than 200 milligrams a day -- they have double the risk of miscarriage than women that don't have any caffeine," said one of the study's authors, Dr. De-Kun Li, a reproductive and perinatal epidemiologist in the division of research at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Calif.

Results of the study were published online in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Caffeine, the most frequently consumed drug in the world, crosses the placental barrier and reaches the developing fetus, according to the study. While previous studies have found an association between caffeine intake and miscarriage, it hadn't been clear whether the problem was due to the caffeine or another substance in coffee, or if it had something to do with non-coffee drinkers' lifestyles -- perhaps people who didn't drink coffee ate more fruits and vegetables, for example.

For the new study, the researchers looked at 1,063 women from the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program in San Francisco; they were interviewed at an average of 10 weeks' gestation. During the study period, 16 percent of the women -- 172 -- had miscarriages.

The researchers found that 25 percent of the women who miscarried reported consuming no caffeine during their pregnancy. Another 60 percent said they had up to 200 milligrams of caffeine daily, and 15 percent regularly consumed more than 200 millig
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