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Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 7;6:36697. doi: 10.1038/srep36697.

Descriptive epidemiology of prenatal and perinatal risk factors in a Chinese population with reading disorder.

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Department of Maternal and Child Health and MOE (Ministry of Education) Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430030, China.


Several prenatal and perinatal factors have been found to be associated with developmental dyslexia (reading disorder) in alphabetic language. Given the absence of relevant studies of Chinese children, the present study tries to investigate these risk factors. A total of 45,850 students were recruited from grades three to six, from seven cities of Hubei province. Dyslexia in Chinese was diagnosed based on children's clinical symptoms. The clinical symptoms of children's reading performance were assessed by Dyslexia Checklist for Chinese Children (DCCC) and Pupil Rating Scale Revised Screening for Learning Disabilities (PRS) which were completed by parent/guardian and header teacher respectively. Chinese language exam was used to screen children with poor reading capacity. Questionnaires about prenatal and perinatal factors were completed by parent or guardian. Among the 34,748 eligible participants, 1,200 (3.45%) were diagnosed with dyslexia in Chinese. More boys suffered from dyslexia than the girls and the gender ratio was 3:1. Family history of neuropsychiatric diseases, maternal infectious diseases, difficult vaginal delivery, preterm birth, and neonatal asphyxia were found to increase the risk of developmental dyslexia in China. Closer longitudinal developmental monitoring and preventive measures should be taken for high risk children.

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