Red Bull gives you wings (and gestational hypertension)

2 minute read

Young women trying to become mothers are advised to lay off the Mother.

Consuming energy drinks before pregnancy may increase the likelihood of gestational hypertension.

Young adults of reproductive age are the highest consumers of energy drinks. While energy drink intake has been associated with headache, stress and in severe cases, kidney and liver damage, little is known about the effects of energy drink intake and pregnancy-related outcomes.

Now, the pooled analysis of two ongoing prospective cohort studies, published in JAMA Network Open, reveals pre-pregnancy energy drink intake increased the odds of gestational hypertension by 60%.

Researchers followed almost 5000 North American women for up to eight years to explore the effects of energy drink intake on a range of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

One in 10 women reported a history of energy drink consumption before falling pregnant. Gestational hypertension occurred in 5% of all pregnancies (5% of pregnancies in non-consumers and 10% of pregnancies in energy drink consumers).  

After adjusting for sociodemographic factors including age, BMI, smoking, dietary quality, physical activity and multivitamin supplement use, the odds of developing gestational hypertension was 60% higher in women who drank energy drinks before conceiving.

The association was even higher in participants aged 28 years and older, with energy drink consumers having a 146% increase in the odds of developing gestational hypertension compared to their peers.

“It is possible that energy drink intake and age have a synergistic effect on gestational hypertension,” the researchers said.

Pre-pregnancy energy drink intake was not associated with pregnancy loss, preterm birth, gestational diabetes or preeclampsia.

JAMA Network Open 2023, online 20 November

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