The association between pre-treatment maternal alcohol and caffeine intake and outcomes of assisted reproduction in a prospectively followed cohort

L Abadia, Y-H Chiu, P L Williams, T L Toth, I Souter, R Hauser, J E Chavarro, A J Gaskins
Human Reproduction 2017 September 1, 32 (9): 1846-1854

STUDY QUESTION: Is pre-treatment alcohol and caffeine intake associated with infertility treatment outcomes among women undergoing ART?

SUMMARY ANSWER: Low to moderate alcohol and caffeine intakes in the year prior to infertility treatment were not related to ART outcomes.

WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: Alcohol and caffeine intake have been found to be associated with infertility in some studies. Nevertheless, data on their relation with outcomes of infertility treatments are scarce and inconsistent.

STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: We included 300 women (493 ART cycles) from the Environment and Reproductive Health Study, an ongoing cohort study (2006-2016).

PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: Pre-treatment intakes of alcohol and caffeine were assessed retrospectively using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Intermediate and clinical endpoints of ART were abstracted from electronic medical records. Generalized linear mixed models with random intercepts to account for multiple ART cycles per woman were used to evaluate the association with ART outcomes adjusting for age, BMI, smoking status, infertility diagnosis, protocol type, race, dietary patterns, and calories, vitamin B12 and folate intake.

MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: Median (range) pre-treatment alcohol and caffeine intakes were 5.6 (0.0-85.8) g/day and 124.9 (0.3-642.2) mg/day, respectively. The adjusted percentage of initiated cycles resulting in live birth (95% CI) for women in increasing categories of pre-treatment alcohol intake was 34% (20, 52%) for non-consumers, 46% (36, 57%) for 0.1-6 g/day, 41% (29, 53%) for 6.1-12 g/day, 42% (31, 55%) for 12.1-24 g/day, and 41% (22, 63%) for >24 g/day (P, trend = 0.87). The adjusted percentage of cycles resulting in live birth (95% CI) for women in increasing categories of caffeine intake was 46% (36-57%) for <50 mg/day, 44% (29, 60%) for 50.1-100 mg/day, 42% (31, 53%) for 100.1-200 mg/day, 40% (28, 53%) for 200.1-300 mg/day and 40% (21, 63%) for >300 mg/day (P, trend = 0.34). When specific types of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages were evaluated, no relations with ART treatment outcomes were observed.

LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: Residual confounding by other diet and lifestyle factors cannot be ruled out owing to the observational nature of this study. It is also unclear how generalizable these results are to women who are conceiving without the assistance of ART.

WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Our results provide reassurance that low to moderate intakes of alcohol (e.g. ≤12 g/day) and caffeine (e.g. <200 mg/day) in the year prior to infertility treatment initiation do not have an adverse effect on intermediate or clinical outcomes of ART.

STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): The authors are supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants ES022955, R01ES009718, R01ES000002, P30DK46200 and L50-HD085359. No conflicts of interest to declare.


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