Caffeinated beverages, decaffeinated coffee, and spontaneous abortion

Laura Fenster, Alan E. Hubbard, Shanna H. Swan, Gayle C. Windham, Kirsten Waller, Robert A. Hiatt, Neal Benowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We examined the relations between spontaneous abortion and the consumption of caffeine, individual caffeine-containing beverages (coffee, tea, and soda), and decaffeinated coffee in a prospective study of 5,144 pregnant women. We collected information about potential risk factors for spontaneous abortion, including consumption of caffeinated beverages and decaffeinated coffee before and during pregnancy, by interview in the first trimester. Neither total estimated caffeine nor individual caffeinated beverage consumption during the first trimester was associated with an appreciable increase in risk for spontaneous abortion. The adjusted odds ratio for consumption of greater than 300 mg per day of caffeine was 1.3 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.8-2.1] after adjustment for maternal age, pregnancy history, cigarette and alcohol consumption, employment, race, gestational age at interview, and marital and socioeconomic status. The adjusted odds ratio for spontaneous abortion related to consumption of three or more cups of decaffeinated coffee during the first trimester was 2.4 (95% CI = 1.3-4.7) in the same model. Although we could not demonstrate this with available data, we suspect that this association was due to bias resulting from the relations among fetal viability, symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, and consumption patterns during pregnancy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-523
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Caffeine
  • Coffee
  • Soda
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Tea


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