Monday, February 4, 2008

Miscarriage news round-up: The rest of January

To start with: the caffeine stories:

  • As everyone read and reported on last month, new research to be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology has shown that caffeine consumption in excess of 200 milligrams per day can increase the risk of miscarriage twofold. Many organizations have modified their recommendations regarding pregnancy and caffeine to reflect these findings, most now advising pregnant women to cut caffeine completely. However, in addition to accolades, the study has also received criticism for a number of reasons. One criticism was that the study was self-report (based on a single interview) and non-random by design (as conducting such a study in a randomized way would be unethical), and while researchers endeavored to control for confounding variables, such a design makes that far more difficult. Further, the study described women as falling into three categories -- those who consumed no caffeine, those who consumed up to 200mg/day, and those who consumed more than 200mg per day -- but did not report average amounts of caffeine consumed by those in each of the two consuming groups. For a few articles discussing the research (and criticism in some cases), see here, here, here.
  • Relatedly, other research published in Epidemiology in January suggested no increased risk of miscarriage for women who consumed moderate amounts of caffeine in early pregnancy. For an article discussing this research, see here. Apparently such a finding was less interesting to the press.
  • Finally, Newsweek saw this study as a jumping off point for a broader discussion of miscarriage risk factors.

In other news:

  • According to this story, in Malta, a woman was given a six-month suspended sentence for causing a woman whose car she hit to miscarry through her negligent driving. The other woman was twenty weeks pregnant at the time. Too bad the court can't order that the sorrow of the woman who lost her child be suspended as well.
  • Apparently, in Scotland there are several memorials to children lost before birth, meant to provide physical locations for families that have suffered loss to channel their grief. Those seeking to set up a new one are soliciting the views of those touched by miscarriage regarding how best to proceed.
  • In celebrity news: Lily Allen suffered a miscarriage in January. Additional coverage here, here, here, here and seemingly everywhere else. Cruel and callous coverage here. Dominican singer Anais had an ectopic pregnancy. Original story (in Spanish) here. Finally, the wife of country singer Joe Nichols also had a miscarriage in January.


Jen said...

That caffeine story became so popular. It doesn't seem to be founded either.

The Ex said...

Oh MY GOD. That Anorak thing is pretty gross. I mean, dude, there are so many better things to make fun of.