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Risk/protective factor or artefact ?

Posted by Teea on 30 Jul 2012 at 15:36 GMT

I find it intriguing that across measures high-risk infants seem to converge towards "typical" values, to become indistinguishable at 24 mo. This would suggest that some of the measures taken are of protective factors that counteract the effect of early risk factors. However i wonder whether the inclusion of different numbers of infants (and different infants) at different time points does not make these conclusions premature. It is not impossible that higher rates of future ASD will be observed in those infants included later in the study. This problem is not resolved but accentuated by removing the 4 children with ASD from the later time points (because not all children included in the earlier time points had been yet assessed). Therefore what looks like a trajectory of rescue from risk may partially be a sampling artefact. I would have liked to see the data from only the participants for which all data points are available (or at least 6-18 mo data points).

No competing interests declared.