THURSDAY, December 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) – The economic situation appears to be linked to an increased risk of being born with a cleft palate or lip, new research suggests, building on past evidence that it can also lead to delayed care and poorer results.
Cleft palate and cleft lip are terms that describe the openings or slits in the roof of the mouth and lip, conditions present at birth.
“We investigated whether factors of poverty are associated with the risk of having a cleft lip or palate in the first place,” said study co-author Dr Jordan Swanson, reconstructive and oral surgeon. at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
His team analyzed data from a US birth database of about 6.25 million births in 2016 and 2017. Of these, nearly 3,000 (about 0.05%) were affected by Cleft lip with / without cleft palate and 1180 (0.02%), with cleft palate. alone.
To assess economic status, the researchers looked at the mother’s education, the family’s use of a US federal nutrition program, and insurance (Medicaid or private). They also took into account variables such as prenatal care, mother’s weight, tobacco use and health, as well as baby’s size and other characteristics.
Some landmarks were significantly linked to the risk of cleft lip and palate.
Maternal education was a protective factor, with a risk of cleft lip reduced by 27% for babies born to mothers with a university education, while federal food assistance was linked to an increased risk of cleft palate by 25%. %. Medicaid coverage was unrelated to either risk.
The risk of a cleft lip jumped 14% among women who postponed antenatal care until the second trimester of pregnancy and 23% for those who waited until the third trimester.
The timing of antenatal care was not related to the risk of a cleft palate.
The study also confirmed some known risk factors for cleft palate or lip. Notably, male gender, first trimester smoking, and maternal gestational diabetes were all linked to an increased risk of cleft lip. Smoking and maternal infections before pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of cleft palate, while female gender was a protective factor against it.
Most of the risk factors for cleft palate did not overlap with those for cleft lip, which supports the theory that they have different causes.
As to why economic factors may affect risk, the team hypothesized that more educated mothers might be better informed and have better access to antenatal care and adequate nutrition during pregnancy. Nutritional support provided to women enrolled in the federal nutrition program could avoid the risk of “environmentally determined” cleft lip, but not “genetically determined” cleft palate, they said.
The results appear in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The researchers said they hoped their findings would help clarify the relationship between economic status and the cracks, and lead to better public health policies to address it, the researchers said.
“Such agreements and partnerships between researchers, health professionals, policy makers, social agencies and local communities will enable us, as a society, to move towards greater parity in health,” said study co-author Dr. Giap Vu of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. in a press release.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on cleft lip and cleft palate.
THE SOURCE: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, press release, December 27, 2021