May 01, 2013
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Coffee consumption during pregnancy increased child’s leukemia risk

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Children of mothers who drank coffee daily during pregnancy were at an increased risk for acute leukemia, according to study results.

Researchers conducted the investigation to assess links between childhood acute leukemia and caffeinated beverage consumption during pregnancy among mothers. The investigators also sought to explore whether caffeinated or alcoholic beverage consumption interacts with polymorphisms of enzymes involved in caffeine and ethanol metabolisms.

Data were culled from the French ESCALE study, which was conducted from 2003 to 2004. There were 764 patients and 1,681 controls included in the analysis.

Study protocols called for case and control mothers to be interviewed about their caffeine and alcohol consumption habits during pregnancy. Genotypes of candidate alleles — NAT2*5 rs1801280, ADH1C*2 rs698 and rs1693482, CYP2E1*5 rs2031920 and rs3813867 — were analyzed for 493 case patients and 549 controls with at least two grandparents born in Europe.

Researchers observed a link between regular coffee consumption during pregnancy and childhood acute leukemia (OR=1.2). A linear increase in leukemia risk was observed for mothers who drank coffee daily. Compared with women who drank no coffee or less than one cup per week, drinking more than two cups per day carried an OR of 1.6 (P<.001). This association persisted for lymphoblastic disease (OR=1.5) and myeloblastic disease (OR=2.4).

Investigators also observed an association between lymphoblastic acute leukemia and cola soda consumption (OR=1.3).

A more marked association was observed among children born to mothers who did not smoke.

The researchers did not, however, observe significant associations in gene–environment reactions with coffee, tea, cola soda or alcohol consumption.

“This study provides additional evidence that maternal coffee consumption during pregnancy may be associated with childhood [acute leukemia],” the researchers wrote.