Intelligence test at preschool-age predicts reading difficulty among school-aged very low birth weight infants in Japan

Akihito Takeuchi, Tatsuya Ogino, Tatsuya Koeda, Makio Oka, Takashi Yorifuji, Toshimitsu Takayanagi, Kazuo Sato, Noriko Sugino, Motoki Bonno, Makoto Nakamura, Misao Kageyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To elucidate whether the results of an intelligence test at preschool age are predictive of reading difficulty (RD) at school age among very low birth weight infants (VLBWI). Methods: Subjects were 48 Japanese children whose birth weight was <1500 g and who regularly visited a follow-up clinic. All subjects completed the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III) during the last grade of kindergarten, and four reading tasks during the second to fourth grade of elementary school. All participants had a full-scale intelligence quotient score of 85 or higher. Subjects with a standard deviation reading time score greater than 2.0 in two or more tasks were considered to have RD. We evaluated the associations between each WISC-III score and RD using logistic regression analyses. Furthermore, we performed receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis to determine a cutoff WISC-III score predictive of RD. Results: In the mutually-adjusted model, the adjusted odds ratio per 1 score increase of freedom from distractibility (FD) was 0.832 (95% confidence interval: 0.720–0.962). In the ROC analysis, an FD score of <95.5 was chosen as the cutoff value for predicting RD (sensitivity, 0.77; specificity, 0.74). Conclusion: The present study indicated that a lower FD score at preschool age, which was associated with deficits in verbal working memory and attention, is a risk factor for RD at school age among Japanese VLBWI. Further investigation is desired to clarify the cognitive deficits underlying RD in Japanese-speaking preterm children, and to establish appropriate interventions for these children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-742
Number of pages8
JournalBrain and Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Attention
  • Dyslexia
  • Japanese
  • Preterm
  • Reading difficulty
  • VLBW
  • Verbal working memory
  • Very low birth weight infant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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