Medical Q&As

Cleft lip and palate - inheritance?

I was born with cleft lip and palate and soon want to have children myself. I wonder what are the chances that they will have the same deformity as me?

The incidence of cleft lip and palate varies with different races. Approximately 1 out of 1,000 Caucasians are affected. The incidence of cleft palate alone is 1 out of 2,500 people. There is a familial tendency with cleft lip and palate. The risk of cleft lip occurring is approximately one in thirty if one parent is affected. I donít have any risk data for combined cleft lip and palate. British scientists have recently identified the gene that is responsible for some forms of cleft palate. You can read about this discovery in an irishhealth.com article at: http://www.irishhealth.com/index.html?level=4&id=2938 . Cleft lip and palate may result from mutation in the particular gene or possibly alterations in the gene from the effect of viruses or possibly even chemical agents. You can also obtain additional information on this subject at: http://www.cleft.ie/