Maternal tea consumption during early pregnancy and the risk of spina bifida §

Authors


  • Presented at the 24th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology Research, June 21, 2011, Montreal, Canada, and at the 7th International Conference on Neural Tube Defects, November 8, 2011, Austin, Texas.

  • Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DD000697).

  • §

    The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Abstract

Studies have demonstrated that catechin, an antioxidant found in tea, can reduce the bioavailability of folate. Because periconceptional folic acid intake has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of spina bifida, tea consumption may put pregnant women at risk because of its possible antifolate properties. Using data collected in the Slone Epidemiology Center Birth Defects Study, we examined whether tea consumption during early pregnancy was associated with an increased risk of spina bifida. Mothers of 518 spina bifida cases and 6424 controls were interviewed within 6 months after delivery about pregnancy events and exposures. Data on tea intake were collected during three periods (1976–1988, 1998–2005 and 2009–2010). Logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), adjusted for study center. Intake of both periconceptional food folate and diet and supplemental folic acid were examined as a potential effect modifier. For 1976 to 1988, ORs were not elevated for daily tea intake. For 1998 and onward, ORs were also close to 1.0, but there was a modest increase for those who drank more than 3 cups/day (OR, 1.92; 95% CI, 0.84–4.38). Among women with total folic acid intake greater than 400 μg, consumption of 3 cups or more of tea per day was associated with an increased risk of spina bifida in 1976 to 1988 (OR, 2.04; 95% CI, 0.69–7.66) and in the later periods (OR, 3.13; 95% CI, 0.87–11.33). Our data do not support an overall association between tea consumption and spina bifida, but there is a suggestion of a possible interaction between higher levels of folic acid intake and tea consumption. Birth Defects Research (Part A) 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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