Couples' pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption linked to miscarriage risk

News Brief by Katie Campbell 

            Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the Ohio State University have found a correlation between miscarriages and couples’ consumption of two or more cups of caffeinated beverages per day in the weeks leading up to conception. Their research also shows that women who take a multivitamin in this time period are less likely to miscarry.

            The researchers enrolled 344 couples in the study, which was reported using a statistical technique called hazard ratio. This method predicts the possibility of a certain event occurring in a given time frame, but cannot prove a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables.

            Their analysis showed that 28% of pregnancies in the study ended in miscarriage. These were associated with female age greater than 35 (with nearly twice the miscarriage risk than younger women) and male and female consumption of two or more caffeinated beverages a day (with about 1.75 times the miscarriage risk than those who did not consume caffeine). Additionally, they saw a reduction in miscarriage risk in women who took daily multivitamins (containing vitamin B6 and folic acid) in the preconception period and through early pregnancy. 

            Overall, these findings show that the health and lifestyle choices of both the mother and father matter, and provide beneficial information for couples that are planning a pregnancy.


NIH/Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. "Couples' pre-pregnancy caffeine consumption linked to miscarriage risk: NIH study finds daily multivitamin before and after conception greatly reduces miscarriage risk." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2016. <>.