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clefts by race

To describe racial/ethnic patterns in oral cleft occurrence, we looked at over 3,800 infants with oral clefts drawn from 2.2 million California births.

bullet Blacks had lower rates of oral clefts compared to Whites. For cleft lip with/without cleft palate, the difference was mainly in cases with no associated birth defects. In cleft palate, there was a reduction across all subtypes.
bullet Hispanics had a lower rate of cleft palate compared to Whites, both for isolated clefts and clefts occurring as part of birth defects sequences.
bullet Relative to their US-born counterparts, the risk of cleft lip with/without cleft palate was slightly lower among the offspring of foreign-born Chinese women. Oral clefts were slightly higher among foreign-born Filipinas. However, data is fairly sparse in these groups and differences may simply be due to chance.

Racial/ethnic differences may be caused by genetic variation across groups. Cultural practicesincluding diet and other habitsmay influence environmental exposures during pregnancy.

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clefts by race table


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