Motor coordination problems (MCP) in children can sometimes be diagnosed as developmental coordination disorder (DCD). Early intervention for DCD is necessary because it often continues into adolescence, causing mental and physical complications. Few studies have investigated the prevalence of childhood MCP in the Japanese population and examined the risk factors for MCP. Therefore, we investigated the prenatal factors associated with MCP in preschool-aged children.
This study was based on a prospective cohort study, the Hokkaido Study on Environment and Children’s Health. Mothers of 4,851 children who reached the age of 5 years within the study-period received questionnaires, including the Japanese version of the developmental coordination disorder questionnaire (DCDQ-J). We examined the risk factors associated with MCP using logistic regression analysis.
Of 3,402 returned DCDQ-J questionnaires, 3,369 were answered completely. From the 3,369 children, we categorized having MCP by using two cut-off scores: that of the DCDQ’07 and the cut-off at the 5 percentile of a total DCDQ-J score. Comparing children with and without MCP, we found significant differences in the education level of the mothers, annual household income during pregnancy, maternal alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy, and sex and age of the children at the time of completing the DCDQ-J by both categorizations. Adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed that maternal smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy and male sex were significantly associated with MCP.
Our results suggest that maternal smoking during pregnancy is the main factor associated with MCP in preschool-aged children.

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