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Antibiotic use and inflammatory bowel disease: number needed to harm? Authors’ reply
  1. Adam S Faye1,2,
  2. Tine Jess2,3
  1. 1Department of Medicine and Population Health, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Center for Molecular Prediction of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Department of Clinical Medicine, Aalborg Universitet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  3. 3Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark
  1. Correspondence to Dr Adam S Faye, New York University Grossman School of Medicine, New York, New York NY 10016, USA; adam.faye{at}

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We thank Ludvigsson for his interest in our work and for providing additional insights. As noted, our joint works implicate the role of antibiotics in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), however, there are limitations as well as unique strengths to our study design which should be noted.1 2

Although confounding may exist, our prospective cohort study design limits this possibility. For example, if an individual is not prescribed an antibiotic course for the first 10 years of follow-up, they will initially contribute at-risk time to the ‘no antibiotic exposure’ group. If, however, they are then prescribed an antibiotic course, the following 1–5 years will contribute time to the ‘antibiotic exposure group.’ At the end of these …

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  • Twitter @AdamFayeMD, @PREDICTIBD

  • Contributors ASF drafted response with approval by TJ.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.