This study aimed to analyze the associations between childhood acute leukemia (AL) and maternal caffeinated beverage consumption during pregnancy, and to explore interactions between caffeinated and alcoholic beverage consumption and polymorphisms of enzymes involved in caffeine and ethanol metabolisms.
The data were generated by the French ESCALE study, which included 764 AL cases and 1,681 controls in 2003–2004. The case and control mothers were interviewed on their consumption habits during pregnancy using a standardized questionnaire. Genotypes of the candidate alleles (NAT2*5 rs1801280, ADH1C*2 rs698 and rs1693482, CYP2E1*5 rs2031920 and rs3813867) were obtained using high-throughput genotyping and imputation data for 493 AL cases and 549 controls with at least two grandparents born in Europe.
Maternal regular coffee consumption during pregnancy was associated with childhood AL (OR = 1.2 [1.0–1.5], p = 0.02); the odds ratios increased linearly with daily intake (p for trend <0.001; >2 cups per day vs. no or less than 1 cup per week: AL: OR = 1.6 [1.2–2.1], lymphoblastic AL: OR = 1.5 [1.1–2.0], myeloblastic AL: OR = 2.4 [1.3–4.3]). The association was slightly more marked for children born to non-smoking mothers. Lymphoblastic AL was also associated with cola soda drinking (OR = 1.3 [1.0–1.5], p = 0.02). No significant gene–environment interactions with coffee, tea, cola soda, or alcohol drinking were observed.
This study provides additional evidence that maternal coffee consumption during pregnancy may be associated with childhood AL. Coffee consumption is a prevalent habit and its potential involvement in childhood AL needs to be considered further.