Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Spontaneous preterm delivery in primiparous women at low risk in Denmark: population based study

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 20 April 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:937

Rapid Response:

Are Danish mothers consuming more licorice?

In our GLAKU project of 1049 mothers and their babies in Finland (1)
we found a new risk factor of preterm birth. Infants of mothers, who were
frequent consumers of licorice confectionery, were significantly more
likely to be born earlier. The odds ratio for being born before 38 weeks’
gestation time was 2.5. The mechanism may be due to glycyrrhizin in
licorice, and its interference with prostaglandin metabolism. The
consumption of licorice is common among Finnish women, but I do not know
the habits of Danish mothers in this respect. Has licorice consumption by
any chance increased in Denmark during the last few years?

1. Strandberg TE, Jarvenpaa AL, Vanhanen H, McKeigue PM. Birth
outcome in relation to licorice consumption during pregnancy. Am J
Epidemiol 2001;153:1085-8

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

21 April 2006
Timo E Strandberg
Department of Public Health Science and General Practice, University of Oulu, PO Box 5000, FIN-90014