Risk for developmental coordination disorder correlates with gestational age at birth

Jin Liang Zhu, Jørn Olsen, Annette Wind Olesen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that children born very preterm have a high risk of developmental coordination disorder (DCD). We examined the relation between the larger spectrum of gestational age at birth and the risk of DCD.

METHODS:   We used the 7-year follow-up data from 22898 singletons in the Danish National Birth Cohort. We calculated a total score from the Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (DCDQ), incorporated in the 7-year follow-up, and defined children with a score of 46 or below as having probable DCD. Information on gestational age was obtained from the Medical Birth Register.

RESULTS:   Gestational age at birth was inversely associated with the risk of DCD; a decline in gestational age by a week was associated with a 19% [95% confidence interval 14%, 25%] increased risk of DCD screening positive among children delivered before 40 weeks. No significant increased risk of DCD was seen for children born post-term.

CONCLUSION: Our data indicate that short gestational age at birth in a range up to gestational week 37 is related to an increased risk of DCD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPaediatric and perinatal epidemiology
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)572-577
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Denmark
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Postmature
  • Infant, Premature
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Motor Skills Disorders
  • Questionnaires
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index

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