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The letter by Dr Goodlin raises some points that require clarification. The definition of prematurity that we used is obstetrically correct. While it does not specifically address the question of good v poor infant outcome (ie, very premature v almost term infants), it does by definition address the problem of premature labor in its broad sense. The sample in which prematurity as an outcome was investigated was the 606 women enrolled at 24 weeks' or less gestation. Stratification by gestational age of the 108 premature outcomes that resulted, an analysis that addresses Dr Goodlin's concern, resulted in such small numbers of premature outcome per cell as to make associations among the multiple predictors and this outcome extremely difficult to demonstrate.As stated in the article, pregnancy information was collected and individual factors investigated against outcomes by contingency table analysis. Only those factors found to be significant were included
Harrison HR. Maternal and Perinatal Morbidity-Reply. JAMA. 1984;251(22):2927. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03340460017007