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Prenatal Caffeine Exposure and Child IQ at Age 5.5 Years: The EDEN Mother-Child Cohort

  • Author Footnotes
    1 CG and JYB contributed equally to this work.
    Cédric Galéra
    Correspondence
    Address correspondence to Cédric Galéra, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Université de Bordeaux, CH Perrens, 121 rue de la Béchade, 33076 Bordeaux, France
    Footnotes
    1 CG and JYB contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Université de Bordeaux, Charles Perrens Hospital, Bordeaux

    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Bordeaux School of Public Health (Institut de Santé Publique, d’Epidémiologie et de Développement), Centre INSERM U897, Bordeaux
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 CG and JYB contributed equally to this work.
    Jonathan Y. Bernard
    Footnotes
    1 CG and JYB contributed equally to this work.
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, INSERM UMR1153, Sorbonne Paris Center, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Villejuif, Paris Descartes University; Paris, France

    Paris XI University; Paris, France
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  • Judith van der Waerden
    Affiliations
    Department of Social Epidemiology, INSERM UMRS 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health Paris, France

    Sorbonne Universités, UPMC University of Paris 06, Paris, France
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  • Manuel-Pierre Bouvard
    Affiliations
    Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Université de Bordeaux, Charles Perrens Hospital, Bordeaux
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  • Sandrine Lioret
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, INSERM UMR1153, Sorbonne Paris Center, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Villejuif, Paris Descartes University; Paris, France
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  • Anne Forhan
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, INSERM UMR1153, Sorbonne Paris Center, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Villejuif, Paris Descartes University; Paris, France
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  • Maria De Agostini
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, INSERM UMR1153, Sorbonne Paris Center, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Villejuif, Paris Descartes University; Paris, France
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  • Maria Melchior
    Affiliations
    Department of Social Epidemiology, INSERM UMRS 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health Paris, France

    Sorbonne Universités, UPMC University of Paris 06, Paris, France
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  • Barbara Heude
    Affiliations
    Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, INSERM UMR1153, Sorbonne Paris Center, Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, Villejuif, Paris Descartes University; Paris, France
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  • on behalf of the EDEN Mother-Child Cohort Study Group
  • Author Footnotes
    1 CG and JYB contributed equally to this work.
Published:September 03, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2015.08.034

      Abstract

      Background

      Evidence from animal studies suggests maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy has detrimental effects on subsequent brain development in offspring. However, human data in this area are limited. The aim of this study was to assess whether caffeine intake by women during pregnancy is associated with impaired cognitive development in offspring at age 5.5 years.

      Methods

      Multivariate modeling was conducted using data of 1083 mother-child pairs from a population-based birth cohort in France followed from pregnancy to age 5.5 years of the children. Measures included an estimate of maternal caffeine intake during pregnancy, children’s IQ at age 5.5, and individual and family characteristics.

      Results

      Prenatal caffeine exposure was common in the sample (91%) with 12% displaying an intake ≥200 mg/day (high). Multivariable modeling showed a significant negative relationship between caffeine intake and children’s IQ at 5.5 years (−.94 [95% confidence interval = −1.70, −.17] full IQ unit per 100 mg daily caffeine intake). In particular, children of mothers consuming ≥200 mg/day were more likely to have borderline or lower IQ compared with children of mothers consuming <100 mg/day (13.5% vs. 7.3%; odds ratio = 2.30, 95% confidence interval = 1.13, 4.69).

      Conclusions

      We found an association between caffeine intake during pregnancy and impaired cognitive development in offspring, a result in line with animal data. More epidemiologic and biologically grounded research is needed to determine whether this association is causal. This finding suggests that conservative guidelines regarding the maximum caffeine intake recommended in pregnancy (i.e., 200 mg/day) should be maintained.

      Keywords

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      Linked Article

      • Should Pregnant Women Worry About Caffeine?
        Biological PsychiatryVol. 80Issue 9
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          In this issue of Biological Psychiatry, Galéra et al. (1) present a large sample study of maternal prenatal caffeine exposure and cognitive delays in their children by 5.5 years of age. Mothers were recruited during their pregnancy and interviewed both prenatally about their caffeine consumption in the year before pregnancy and at delivery about their consumption during the third trimester of pregnancy. As the authors indicate, the strengths of their study include the large sample size, the prospective assessment of caffeine exposure, and relevant covariates, including assessment of language use at home.
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