Clinical and epidemiologic studies of cleft lip and palate in the Philippines

Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 1997 Jan;34(1):7-10. doi: 10.1597/1545-1569_1997_034_0007_caesoc_2.3.co_2.


Clinical and epidemiologic studies of defined geographic populations can serve as a means of establishing data important for genetic counseling and as a first step in identifying strategies best suited for identification of causes. Under the sponsorship of Operation Smile International, clinical, genetic, and epidemiologic studies were carried out at six sites within the Philippines between 1989 and 1996. Patients who were being evaluated for surgical repair of craniofacial anomalies (primarily clefts of the lip and palate) were briefly examined for the presence of associated anomalies, and a family history was obtained to look for the frequency of cleft lip and palate in siblings. Birth records of 47,969 newborns over an 8-year period at one hospital in Bacolod City in the province of Negros Occidental were reviewed. Medical records of infants born with clefts of the lip and/or palate and other major anomalies were reviewed and birth prevalence rates calculated. Findings include a birth prevalence of 1.94 per 1000 live births for cleft lip with/without palate in the Philippines. Recurrence rates in siblings for nonsyndromic clefts of the lip and palate were 23 per 1000 for cleft lip with or without cleft palate, and 14 per 1000 for cleft palate only. The percentage of clefts associated with multiple anomalies was 21% at birth and 6% for individuals examined during the screening process, providing evidence for a high postnatal death rate. These data provide groundwork for additional etiologic studies including segregation analysis and molecular genetic studies involving linkage or association, as well as for studies of environmental contributions to clefting such as vitamin deficiencies. Preliminary molecular analysis using an association approach is reported in a companion paper. The findings suggest a high incidence of cleft lip and palate in native-born Filipinos.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple
  • Avitaminosis / epidemiology
  • Cleft Lip / epidemiology*
  • Cleft Lip / genetics
  • Cleft Palate / epidemiology*
  • Cleft Palate / genetics
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Genetic Linkage
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Molecular Biology
  • Nutrition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Philippines / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Syndrome