Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Erowid References Database
Savitz DA, Chan RL, Herring AH, Howards PP, Hartmann KE. 
“Caffeine and miscarriage risk”. 
Epidemiology. 2008 Jan 19;19(1):55-62.

BACKGROUND: Coffee and caffeine have been inconsistently found to be associated with increased risk of clinical miscarriage-a potentially important association given the high prevalence of exposure.

METHODS: Women were recruited before or early in pregnancy and interviewed regarding sources of caffeine, including assessment of changes over the perinatal period. We identified 2407 clinically-recognized pregnancies resulting in 258 pregnancy losses. We examined the relationship of coffee and caffeine intake with clinically-recognized pregnancy loss prior to 20 weeks' completed gestation, using a discrete-time continuation ratio logistic survival model.

RESULTS: Coffee and caffeine consumption at all 3 time points were unrelated to total miscarriage risk and the risk of loss after the interview. Reported exposure at the time of the interview was associated with increased risk among those with losses before the interview. CONCLUSIONS: There is little indication of possible harmful effects of caffeine on miscarriage risk within the range of coffee and caffeine consumption reported, with a suggested reporting bias among women with losses before the interview. The results may reflect exposure misclassification and unmeasured heterogeneity of pregnancy losses.
Comments and Responses to this Article
Status: display
Apr 17, 2011 1:59
Science Reporting: Positive Findings vs. Negative Findings #

The same month this study was published, a similar study was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. While this study by Savitz et al. found no statistically significant correlation between caffeine intake and miscarriage, the AJOG study did find a significant correlation.

The AJOG study, which found a correlation, received major media attention - reports aired on TV news and articles appeared in major print media including the New York Times. However, this Epidemiology study, which found no correlation, did not receive remotely comparable coverage. In fact, it was not even mentioned in several articles on caffeine and miscarriage that I reviewed following the publication of Weng et al., despite being published at the same time and being readily available through Medline.

This disparity in coverage may reflect a significant and widely-recognized problem with scientific research: positive findings generally receive much greater attention than negative findings.

The AJOG abstract may be viewed here:
Submit Comment
[ Cite HTML ]