Risk factorsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Several factors may increase the likelihood of a baby developing a cleft lip and cleft palate, including:
- Family history. Parents with a family history of cleft lip or cleft palate face a higher risk of having a baby with a cleft.
- Race. Cleft lip and palate are most common in American Indian and Asian children. Black children are least likely to have a cleft.
- Sex. Males are twice as likely to have a cleft lip with or without cleft palate. Cleft palate without cleft lip is more common in females.
- Exposure to certain substances during pregnancy. Babies born to women who smoked or drank alcohol during pregnancy are more likely to develop cleft lip and cleft palate.
- Being obese during pregnancy. There is some evidence that babies born to obese women may have increased risk of cleft lip and palate.
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- Submucous clefts. Cleft Palate Foundation. http://www.cleftline.org/what-we-do/publications/fact-sheets/submucous-clefts/. Accessed May 25, 2012.
- Dixon MJ, et al. Cleft lip and palate: Understanding genetic and environmental influences. Nature Reviews Genetics. 2011;12:167.
- Wilkins-Haug L. Etiology, prenatal diagnosis, obstetrical management and recurrence of orofacial clefts. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed May 29, 2012.