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Low-to-Moderate Caffeine Intake Not Tied to Maternal Health Risk

Limited caffeine intake, within recommended amounts, during the second trimester associated with lower risk for gestational diabetes

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WEDNESDAY, Nov. 24, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Caffeinated beverage consumption early in the second trimester (within current guidelines of <200 mg per day) is associated with a lower risk for gestational diabetes and a favorable cardiometabolic profile versus no consumption, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in JAMA Network Open.

Stefanie N. Hinkle, Ph.D., from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a post hoc analysis using data from the U.S. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Fetal Growth Studies-Singletons (2009 to 2013) to examine the impact of caffeine on maternal health. The analysis included 2,802 pregnant women without major chronic conditions participating at 12 U.S. clinical sites.

The researchers found that at 10 to 13 gestational weeks, 41.5 percent of women reported consuming no caffeinated beverages; 51 percent reported consuming 1 mg/day to 100 mg/day; 6.7 percent reported 101 mg/day to 200 mg/day; and 0.8 percent reported >200 mg/day. Caffeine consumption tended to increase at 16 to 22 weeks, with estimates of 23.6, 68.3, 7.3, and 0.8 percent consuming no caffeinated beverages, 1 mg/day to 100 mg/day, 101 mg/day to 200 mg/day, and >200 mg/day, respectively. Caffeine intake at 16 to 22 weeks was associated with lower gestational diabetes risk and lower glucose concentrations (1 mg/day to 100 mg/day versus none: relative risk, 0.53; β, −2.7 mg/dL), lower C-reactive protein and C-peptide concentrations, and favorable lipid profiles. There were no associations observed between caffeine intake and preeclampsia or gestational hypertension (GH).

"Second trimester caffeinated beverage intake within current recommendations was associated with lower GDM risk, but not preeclampsia or GH," the authors write. "These findings may be reassuring for women with moderate caffeine intake."

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