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Coffee & Health

Coffee and Tea Consumption during Pregnancy and Risk of Childhood Acute Myeloid Leukemia: A Childhood Leukemia International Consortium (CLIC) Study

M A Karalexi et al, 2019.
Cancer Epidemiology, published online.
August 19, 2019



Dietary habits during pregnancy have been inconsistently linked to childhood acute myeloid leukemia (AML), given the putative intrauterine onset of the disease as a result of triggering events during the critical period of fetal hematopoiesis. We investigated the potential association of maternal coffee and tea consumption during pregnancy with childhood AML risk, pooling primary data from eight case-control studies participating in the Childhood Leukemia International Consortium.


Information on coffee and/or tea consumption was available for 444 cases and 1255 age- and sex-matched controls, on coffee consumption for 318 cases and 971 controls and on tea consumption for 388 cases and 932 controls. Categories for cups of daily coffee/tea consumption were created in order to explore potential dose-response associations. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using logistic regression.


Associations were found neither in the analysis on coffee or tea nor in the analysis on coffee only consumption (any versus no). A positive association with increasing coffee intake was observed (>1 cup per day; OR: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.03-1.92, increment of one cup per day; OR: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.01-1.39). No associations were observed with tea consumption. Interaction analyses showed non-significant associations between coffee/tea and smoking. Hyperdiploidy was inversely associated with tea consumption, with other cytogenetic markers having no association with coffee/tea.


Given the widespread consumption of caffeinated beverages among pregnant women, our finding is of important public health relevance, suggesting adverse effects of maternal coffee consumption during pregnancy in the offspring.

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