Gleason said: “The reduction in birth weight is within the range that we have seen to reduce the birth weight of women who smoked during pregnancy,” noting that smokers are 1.8 to 7 ounces lighter than the average non-smokers.
The survey results were posted online on March 25 at JAMA network is open.
But despite the worrisome results, pregnant women should not rush to throw away all coffee beans, tea bags and cola, says Dr. Gil Birkin, assistant professor of maternal and child medicine at the Mount Sinai Health System in New York. city.
Birkin said that the results of this study contradicted previous studies, which found no significant link between caffeine and fetal growth.
In addition, Birkin said, caffeine has little effect on birth weight and weight, so it is difficult to say whether these babies will suffer the long-term health effects usually associated with stunting. Fetal development.
The researchers said in the background information that these effects may include increasing the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Birkin said: “It is so small that it is actually only 3 ounces apart. Whether this 3 ounces will have a long-term clinical effect on the baby remains to be determined.” “We know that it is less than 10% of the expected gestational age weight. Of infants have poorer outcomes, but the potential reduction in fetal weight is not small, so whether this has clinical significance is unclear.”
Birkin added that caffeine did not significantly affect a key indicator of fetal development-abdominal circumference.
Birkin said: “Traditionally, when looking at fetal growth, abdominal circumference may be the most important feature for predicting which fetuses are larger and which are smaller.” “In the calculations we use to determine fetal growth, abdominal circumference is better than all other parameters. weight.”
Gleason said that there are several theoretical reasons to suspect that caffeine will inhibit fetal growth.
Gleason said: “We know that caffeine and its main metabolite, xanthine, can pass through the placenta, but the fetus lacks the enzyme that breaks down or clears caffeine.” When caffeine accumulates in fetal tissues, it may be destroyed Growth in the uterus.