ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Molecule in Skin May Link Eczema and Asthma
Air Quality Better in Northeast, Midwest
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
Alternative Treatments May Boost IVF Success
Pharoah's Wine Jar Yields Medicinal Secrets
Taking the Mystery Out of Hypnotherapy
ANIMAL CARE
'Comfort Dogs' Come to Emotional Rescue
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Most Women With Osteoporosis Unaware of Raised Fracture Risk
More Faces Being Spared in Motor Vehicle Accidents
Occupational Therapy Plus Exercise Benefits Osteoarthritis
CANCER
Researchers ID Genetic Markers for Esophageal Cancer
Where You Live May Affect Your Cancer Diagnosis
Seaweed May Help Treat Lymphoma
CAREGIVING
Study Casts Doubt on Influential Hospital Safety Survey
Rapid Infant Weight Gain Linked to Childhood Obesity
Memory Loss Help from Brain Supplement Prevagen
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Grapefruit-Heavy Diet Helped Spur Dangerous Clot
Review Confirms Links Between Diet, Heart Health
An Apple a Day May Help Keep Heart Disease Away
COSMETIC
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
Gum Chewing May Cut Craving for Snacks
DENTAL, ORAL
Gum Disease May Reactivate AIDS Virus
Good Oral Hygiene May Protect Against Heart Infections
Gum Disease Might Boost Cancer Risk
DIABETES
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistance in Older Men
24 Million Americans Had Diabetes in 2007
Patients' Photos Help Boost Radiologists' Accuracy
DIET, NUTRITION
Holiday Eating Without the Guilt -- or the Pounds
Brown Rice Tied to Better Heart Health in Study
Milk Destroys Antioxidant Benefits in Blueberries
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Pollution Particles Impair Blood Vessel Function
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Greenhouse Gases Hazardous to Your Health
EYE CARE, VISION
Eye Problems, Hearing Loss May Be Linked
Certain Diabetes Drugs May Pose Eye Risk
Vision Test for Young Children Called Unreliable
FITNESS
Any Exercise Good After a Heart Attack
The 3LS Wellness Program for Reversing Chronic Symptoms and Creating Lasting Health
Avoiding a Holiday Season of Discontent
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Traditional Nonsurgical GERD Treatments Not Impressive
GENERAL HEALTH
What you need to know about swine flu.
'Soda Tax' Wins Health Experts' Support
Want Sun Protection? Wear Red or Blue
HEAD & NECK
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Using Light Therapy to Silence Harmful Brain Activity
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Cocoa in Chocolate May Be Good for the Heart
Implanted Defibrillators Boost Long-Term Survival
Too Much Red Meat May Shorten Life Span
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Grapefruit Compound Inhibits Hepatitis C Virus
Viral Infection Might Trigger High Blood Pressure
Swine Flu Now Reported in All 50 States
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Decline of Underweight Children in U.S. Continue to Fall
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
MEN'S HEALTH
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Low Vitamin D Levels May Boost Men's Heart Attack Risk
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
Music Soothes Anxiety as Well as Massage Does
Bullying Seems to Affect Kids Years Later
Psychotherapy Can Boost Happiness More Than Money
PAIN
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Exercise Boosts Bone Density in Breast-Feeding Moms
Expectant Mom's Exercise Keeps Newborn's Birth Weight Down
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
Living Alone Increases Odds of Developing Dementia
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Video Gaming Just Might Fight Aging
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Better Sleep, Grades Seem to Go Up
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Sugary Colas Tied to Gestational Diabetes
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Health Tip: Be More Comfortable During Childbirth
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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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