European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 57, Issue 1, pp 107–117 | Cite as

Pre-pregnancy caffeine and caffeinated beverage intake and risk of spontaneous abortion

  • Audrey J. GaskinsEmail author
  • Janet W. Rich-Edwards
  • Paige L. Williams
  • Thomas L. Toth
  • Stacey A. Missmer
  • Jorge E. Chavarro
Original Contribution



To investigate the relation between pre-pregnancy caffeine and caffeinated beverage intake and risk of spontaneous abortion (SAB).


Our prospective cohort study included 15,590 pregnancies from 11,072 women with no history of SAB in the Nurses’ Health Study II (1991–2009). Beverage intake was assessed every 4 years using a validated questionnaire. Pregnancies were self-reported with case pregnancies lost spontaneously at <20 weeks gestation. Multivariable log-binomial regression models with generalized estimating equations were used to estimate the relative risks (RRs) and 95 % confidence intervals (CIs).


There was a positive linear trend across categories of pre-pregnancy caffeine intake and risk of SAB such that women consuming >400 mg/day had 1.11 (95 % CI 0.98, 1.25) times the risk of SAB compared to women consuming <50 mg/day (p trend = 0.05). Total coffee intake had a positive, linear association with SAB. Compared to women with no pre-pregnancy coffee intake, women consuming ≥4 servings/day had a 20 % (6, 36 %) increased risk of SAB (p trend = 0.01). There was no difference in the association between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee and risk of SAB. Pre-pregnancy intake of caffeinated tea, caffeinated soda, and decaffeinated soda had no association with SAB.


Pre-pregnancy coffee consumption at levels ≥4 servings/day is associated with increased risk of SAB, particularly at weeks 8–19.


Caffeine Coffee Miscarriage Pregnancy Spontaneous abortion 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

394_2016_1301_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (61 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 61 kb)
394_2016_1301_MOESM2_ESM.docx (39 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 38 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Audrey J. Gaskins
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Janet W. Rich-Edwards
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Paige L. Williams
    • 2
    • 5
  • Thomas L. Toth
    • 6
  • Stacey A. Missmer
    • 2
    • 3
    • 7
    • 8
  • Jorge E. Chavarro
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of NutritionHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of EpidemiologyHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of MedicineBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender BiologyBrigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of BiostatisticsHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  6. 6.Vincent Obstetrics and Gynecology, Massachusetts General HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  7. 7.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  8. 8.Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women’s HospitalHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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