ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Folic Acid Might Offer Allergy Relief
Herbal Remedy Could Halt Peanut Allergy
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Health Tip: Anticipating Acupuncture
Many Cancer Patients Turn to Complementary Medicine
Tai Chi: An Ideal Exercise for Many People with Diabetes
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Separation Anxiety, Canine-Style
BONES & JOINTS
Health Tip: Back Pain in Children
Gene Therapy May Ease Rheumatoid Arthritis
Majority of College Students Report Backpack-Related Pain
CANCER
Omega-3 May Safely Treat Precancerous Bowel Polyps
Acupuncture May Help Relieve Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
CAREGIVING
Study Links Pesticides to Birth Defects
Baby's Sleep Position May Not Affect Severity of Head Flattening
Caring for Aging Loved Ones Can Be a Catch-22
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Bad Marriages Harder on Women's Health
Exercise May Blunt Salt's Effect on Hypertension
Secondhand Smoke Quickly Affects Blood Vessels
COSMETIC
Health Tip: After Liposuction
Study Evaluates Laser Therapies for Hair Removal
Science May Banish Bad Hair Days
DENTAL, ORAL
Acid Drinks Blamed for Increase in Tooth Erosion
Toothbrushing May Stave Off Heart Woes
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
DIABETES
Older Diabetics With Depression Face Higher Death Rate
'Standard' Glucose Test May Be Wrong One for Obese Children
Strict Blood Sugar Lowering Won't Ease Diabetes Heart Risk
DIET, NUTRITION
Fasting on Alternate Days May Make Dieting Easier
Asparagus May Ease Hangover
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications
Think You Are Lead-Free? Check Your Soil
EYE CARE, VISION
FDA Goes After Unapproved Eye Washes, Skin Ointments
Kids Who Spend More Time Outdoors Have Better Vision
When Corks Fly, Watch the Eyes
FITNESS
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Marathoners Go the Distance on Heart Health
Antioxidants Blunt Exercise Benefit, Study Shows
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
New Guidelines Issued for Management of IBS
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
GENERAL HEALTH
Internet Program Helps Problem Drinkers
FDA Bans Unapproved Prescription Cough, Cold and Allergy Meds
Have Fun But Put Play It Safe on the 4th
HEAD & NECK
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
E-Mailing Your Way to Healthier Habits
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Most Fast-Food French Fries Cooked in Unhealthiest Oil
Quitting Smoking Doubles Survival in Early Stage Lung Cancer
Omega-6 Fatty Acids Can Be Good for You
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Swine Flu Is Now a Pandemic Says W.H.O.
Poor Restroom Cleaning Causes Cruise-Ship Sickness
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Too Many Infants Short on Vitamin D
6 Million U.S. Kids Lack Enough Vitamin D
Traffic Seems to Make Kids' Asthma Worse
MEN'S HEALTH
Drinking Green Tea May Slow Prostate Cancer
Sunlight May Help Protect Men From Kidney Cancer
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
MENTAL HEALTH
Musicians' Brains Tuned to Emotions in Sound
Brain Scans Show How Humans 'Hear' Emotion
A Little Alcohol May Stave Off Alzheimer's
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
Are We Exercising Pain Away? Not So Much.
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
Breast-Feeding May Protect a Woman's Heart
SENIORS
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
Community Exercise Programs Boost Seniors' Strength
Older People at Greater Risk of Swine Flu Death
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Meditation May Help Put Primary Insomnia to Bed
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Active Young Women Need Calcium, Vitamin D
Exercise As Well As Acupuncture, May Ease Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
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Caffeine in Pregnancy Associated With Low Birth Weight Risk

MONDAY, Nov. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Even consuming low amounts of caffeine during pregnancy may increase the risk of having a low birth weight baby, new research shows.

British researchers studied 2,645 pregnant women, average age 30, with low-risk pregnancies.

Their average caffeine intake during pregnancy was 159 milligrams a day, much lower than the 300 mg/day recommended by the U.K.'s Food Standards Agency. Tea was the main source of caffeine (62 percent), followed by coffee (14 percent), cola (12 percent), chocolate (8 percent), and soft drinks (2 percent).

Most of the women's babies were born at full term with an average birth weight of 3,450 grams (around the U.K. average), while 4 percent of the babies were born prematurely, 0.3 percent were stillborn, and 0.7 percent were miscarried late.

Dr. Justin Konje and colleagues at the University of Leicester and the University of Leeds concluded that higher caffeine intake was associated with increased risk of low birth weight. Compared to women who consumed less than 100 mg/day of caffeine (equivalent of less than one cup of coffee), the risk of having a lower birth weight baby increased by 20 percent for women who had 100-199 mg/day, by 50 percent for those who consumed 200-299 mg/day, and by 40 percent for over 300 mg/day.

Caffeine consumption of more than 100 mg/day was associated with a fetal weight reduction of 34-59 grams in the first trimester, 24-74g in the second trimester, and 66-89g in the third trimester. The effect was significant and consistent across all trimesters with caffeine consumption of more than 200 mg/day. The link between caffeine and low birth weight was strongest in women who metabolized caffeine more quickly.

Pregnant women should significantly reduce their caffeine consumption before and during pregnancy, the researchers said. The study was published online in the British Medical Journal.

The study reinforces concerns that caffeine may affect fetal growth, but the authors' warning could unnecessarily frighten women who've consumed some caffeine during pregnancy, Professor Jorn Olsen, of the department of epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health, and a colleague wrote in an accompanying editorial.

They did agree that pregnant women should reduce their caffeine consumption, but must not replace it with unhealthy alternatives such as alcoholic drinks or soft drinks full of sugar.

More information

The March of Dimes has more about caffeine during pregnancy.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: British Medical Journal, news release, Nov. 3, 2008

Last Updated: Nov. 03, 2008

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