E Milne et al, Maternal consumption of coffee and tea during pregnancy and risk of childhood ALL: results from an Australian case-control study, Cancer Causes and Controls, published online ahead of print, November 2010

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Human Study & Meta-analyses

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether maternal coffee and/or tea consumption during the last 6 months of pregnancy was associated with risk of childhood ALL.
METHODS: Data on coffee and tea drinking during pregnancy from 337 case mothers and 697 control mothers were analyzed using unconditional multivariable logistic regression. A meta-analysis of our findings with those of previous studies was also conducted.
RESULTS: There was little evidence of an overall association between maternal coffee consumption and risk of ALL: OR 0.89 (95% CI 0.61, 1.30), although there was some suggestion that higher levels of intake might increase the risk in children of non-smoking mothers: OR for 2+ cups/day = 1.44 (95% CI 0.85, 2.42); this was supported by our meta-analysis. Risk was also elevated among cases with chromosomal translocations. The overall OR for maternal tea consumption was 0.82 (95% CI 0.56, 1.18), although the OR for T-cell ALL was 0.21 (95% CI 0.08, 0.51). Among ALL cases with translocations, the ORs for tea consumption tended to be elevated: OR = 1.70 (95% CI 0.79-3.68) for 2+ cups/day.
CONCLUSIONS: The observed increased risk associated with coffee and tea consumption may be confined to ALL with translocations. These associations should be explored further in large international consortia.

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