No Association between Coffee Consumption and Adverse Outcomes of Pregnancy

Shai Linn, Stephen C. Schoenbaum, Richard R. Monson, Bernard Rosner, Phillip G. Stubblefield, Kenneth J. Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyzed interview and medical-record data of 12,205 non-diabetic, non-asthmatic women to evaluate the relation between coffee consumption and adverse outcomes of pregnancy. Low birth weight and short gestation occurred more often among offspring of women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day and more often among the offspring of smokers. After controlling for smoking, other habits, demographic characteristics, and medical history by standardization and logistic regression, we found no relation between low birth weight or short gestation and heavy coffee consumption. Furthermore, there was no excess of malformations among coffee drinkers. These negative results suggest that coffee consumption has a minimal effect, if any, on the outcome of pregnancy. (N Engl J Med. 1982; 306:141–5.), IN the fall of 1980, the United States Food and Drug Administration advised pregnant women to avoid caffeine-containing foods and drugs or to use them sparingly.1 Caffeine is a methylxanthine close in structure to the purines that build genetic material. Thus, it has the potential to affect the processes involved in the multiplication and metabolism of living cells. Caffeine is known to cross the placenta and reach the fetus.2 Concern about the possible harmful effects of caffeine in pregnancy has evolved mainly from studies in animals that have indicated a decrease in intrauterine fetal growth, a lower birth weight, and.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-145
Number of pages5
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 21 Jan 1982
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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