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Intake of Sugar-sweetened Beverages and Fecundability in a North American Preconception Cohort

Hatch, EE1; Wesselink, AK1; Hahn, KA1; Michiel, JJ1; Mikkelsen, EM2; Sorensen, HT2; Rothman, KJ1; Wise, LA1

doi: 10.1097/EDE.0000000000000812
Original Article: PDF Only

Dietary factors, including sugar-sweetened beverages, may have adverse effects on fertility. Sugar-sweetened beverages have been associated with poor semen quality in cross-sectional studies, and female soda intake has been associated with lower fecundability in some, but not all, studies. We evaluated the association of female and male sugar-sweetened beverage intake with fecundability among 3828 women planning pregnancy and 1045 of their male partners in a North American prospective cohort study. We followed participants enrolled between June 2013 and May 2017 until pregnancy or for up to twelve menstrual cycles. Eligible women were aged 21-45 years (male partners ≥21), attempting conception for ≤6 cycles, and not using fertility treatments. Participants completed a comprehensive baseline questionnaire, including questions on soda (sugar-sweetened and diet), fruit juice, energy, and sports drink consumption during the previous 4 weeks. We estimated time-to-pregnancy from follow-up questionnaires completed every 2 months by the female partner. We calculated adjusted fecundability ratios (FR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) according to intake of sugar-sweetened beverages using proportional probabilities regression. Both female and male intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages were associated with reduced fecundability (FR= 0.81; 95% CI: 0.70, 0.94 and 0.78; 95% CI: 0.63, 0.95 for ≥ 7 sugar-sweetened beverages per week compared with none, for females and males, respectively). Fecundability was further reduced among those who drank ≥7 servings per week of sugar-sweetened sodas (FR= 0.75, 95% CI: 0.59, 0.95 for females and 0.67, 95% CI: 0.51, 0.89 for males). Diet soda had little association with fecundability.

1 Boston University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118,

2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aarhus University, Olof Palmes alle 43-45, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. The computing code and de-identified data are available by contacting the first or last author.

Sources of funding: This research was supported by NICHD (R21-HD072326, R01-HD086742, R03-HD090315, and T32-HD052458).

Acknowledgements: We acknowledge the contributions of PRESTO participants and staff. We thank Mr. Michael Bairos for technical support in developing the study’s web-based infrastructure and Drs. Amy Subar and Ken Bishop for assistance with the National Cancer Institute Food Frequency Questionnaire.

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