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Coffee & Health

Maternal consumption of coffee and tea during pregnancy and risk of childhood ALL: results from an Australian case-control study

E Milne et al, 2010
Cancer Causes and Controls, published online ahead of print
November 30, 2010

Human Study & Meta-analyses


To investigate whether maternal coffee and/or tea consumption during the last 6 months of pregnancy was associated with risk of childhood ALL.


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.


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.


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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