Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 25, Issue 10, pp 1321–1327 | Cite as

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

  • Kathryn R. Greenop
  • Margaret Miller
  • John Attia
  • Lesley J. Ashton
  • Richard Cohn
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
  • Elizabeth Milne
Original paper



The causes of childhood brain tumors (CBT) are largely unknown, but gestational diet may influence this risk. The aim of this analysis was to investigate whether maternal coffee or tea consumption during pregnancy was associated with the risk of CBT.


The Australian Study of the Causes of Childhood Brain Tumours was a population-based, Australian case–control study conducted between 2005 and 2010. Case children were recruited from 10 pediatric oncology centers and control children by nationwide random-digit dialing, frequency matched to cases on the basis of age, sex and state of residence. Coffee and tea intake were assessed using a food frequency questionnaire.


Data on coffee and tea consumption during pregnancy were available from 293 case mothers and 726 control mothers. Odds ratios (ORs) and confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using multivariable unconditional logistic regression. There was little evidence of an association between gestational consumption of any coffee (OR 1.23, 95 % CI 0.92, 1.64) or tea (OR 1.00, 95 % CI 0.74, 1.36) and CBT risk. Among children aged under 5 years, the OR for any coffee consumption during pregnancy was 1.76 (95 % CI 1.09, 2.84) and for ≥2 cups per day during pregnancy was 2.52 (95 % CI 1.26, 5.04). There was little evidence that associations with coffee or tea intake differed by parental smoking status.


These results suggest a positive association between coffee intake ≥2 cups per day and risk of CBT in younger children, although some estimates are imprecise. There was no association between maternal tea drinking and risk of CBT.


Brain tumors Caffeine Cancer Child Coffee Diet Pediatric Pregnancy Tea 

Supplementary material

10552_2014_437_MOESM1_ESM.doc (52 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 52 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn R. Greenop
    • 1
  • Margaret Miller
    • 2
  • John Attia
    • 3
    • 4
  • Lesley J. Ashton
    • 5
    • 6
  • Richard Cohn
    • 6
    • 7
  • Bruce K. Armstrong
    • 8
    • 9
  • Elizabeth Milne
    • 1
  1. 1.Telethon Kids InstituteUniversity of Western AustraliaWest PerthAustralia
  2. 2.Child Health Promotion Research Centre, School of Exercise and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityMount LawleyAustralia
  3. 3.Hunter Medical Research InstituteJohn Hunter HospitalNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Faculty of Health, School of Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of NewcastleNewcastleAustralia
  5. 5.Research PortfolioUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  6. 6.Faculty of Medicine, School of Women’s and Children’s HealthUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  7. 7.Centre for Children’s Cancer and Blood DisordersSydney Children’s HospitalSydneyAustralia
  8. 8.Sydney School of Public HealthUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  9. 9.Sax InstituteSydneyAustralia

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