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Dear Dr Howells,
Thank you for your Rapid Response to our publication, ‘Language in 2-year-old children born preterm and term: a cohort study’ in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. We appreciate the opportunity to provide clarity on the points you raised.
Gestational age in completed weeks
Number of children
Percent of very preterm group
Thank you again for your interest, and we hope that our responses are helpful in the interpretation of our results.
Dr Katherine Sanchez, Professor Alicia Spittle, and Professor Angela Morgan
Dear Sanchez et al,
I read with interest your recent publication “Language in 2-year-old children born preterm and term: a cohort study) in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. I have made certain observations, and would welcome your views on them.
I notice (Figure 1) that you screened 557 preterm infants for eligibility. Ninety three of these were excluded as they were deemed unsuitable by medical staff and another hundred and seventeen were excluded for other reasons. As those numbers are quite substantial, I am curious to know what those factors were, and think that some details on those factors will further enhance the quality of the paper.
Your preterm cohort is defined as <30 weeks gestation. The current evidence shows that mortality and morbidity in preterm babies is associated with degree of prematurity. Therefore, I am wondering that what was the distribution of gestational age in the group and was there any further subgroup analysis attempted.
You mentioned family history having an impact on the likelihood of language delay in the introduction. However, I note that this was not included in list of factors explored. I wonder if there was any particular reason to do so.
I look forward to hearing from you, and would like to thank you in anticipation for your time.
Dr Anna Howells
Community Paediatrics, Bromley