Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 207–218 | Cite as

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

  • Elizabeth MilneEmail author
  • Jill A. Royle
  • Lisa C. Bennett
  • Nicholas H. de Klerk
  • Helen D. Bailey
  • Carol Bower
  • Margaret Miller
  • John Attia
  • Rodney J. Scott
  • Maria Kirby
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
Original paper



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.


Child Coffee Diet Leukemia Tea 



This was supported by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (Grant ID 254539); National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Award and Cancer Council Western Australia Research Fellowship (to LM); National Health and Medical Research Council PhD Scholarship (to HB); National Health and Medical Research Council Fellowship and Program Grant (to CB); and the Cancer Council Western Australia Usher Vacation Scholarship (to LB).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth Milne
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jill A. Royle
    • 1
  • Lisa C. Bennett
    • 1
  • Nicholas H. de Klerk
    • 1
  • Helen D. Bailey
    • 1
  • Carol Bower
    • 1
  • Margaret Miller
    • 2
  • John Attia
    • 3
    • 4
  • Rodney J. Scott
    • 5
  • Maria Kirby
    • 6
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
    • 7
  1. 1.Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health ResearchThe University of Western AustraliaWest PerthAustralia
  2. 2.Nutrition and Dietetics Program, School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  3. 3.Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Department of MedicineJohn Hunter Hospital and Hunter Medical Research InstituteNew LambtonAustralia
  5. 5.Hunter Medical Research Institute, The School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of HealthUniversity of Newcastle and the Hunter Area Pathology Service, HNEHealthNewcastleAustralia
  6. 6.Women’s and Children’s HospitalAdelaideAustralia
  7. 7.Sydney School of Public HealthThe University of SydneyNSWAustralia

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