The Epidemiology of Cleft Lip and Palate in Canada, 1998 to 2007


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Abstract

Objective:To examine the birth prevalence, gender distribution, and pattern of surgical intervention for clefts in Canada (1998 to 2007). Also to highlight the difficulties associated with studying the epidemiology of clefts using the current data collection mechanisms.Methods:Epidemiologic data acquired from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.Setting:Population-based study in Canada 1998 to 2007.Patients:All live births with anInternational Classification of Diseases(9th or 10th revision) diagnostic code for cleft palate or for cleft lip with or without cleft palate or with a surgical intervention code for repair of cleft lip or cleft palate.Main Outcome Measures:Birth prevalence, gender distribution, and pattern of surgical intervention.Results:There were 3,015,325 live births in Canada (1998 to 2007). The mean birth prevalence was 0.82 per 1000 live births for cleft lip with or without cleft palate and 0.58 per 1000 live births for cleft palate. The birth prevalence of cleft lip with or without cleft palate was significantly higher in boys, with a stable boy to girl ratio of 1.75:1. Cleft palate was significantly greater in girls; however, the boy to girl ratio decreased from 0.97:1 in 1998 to 0.59:1 in 2007. The median age of repair in Canada from 1998 to 2007 was 4.7 months for cleft lip and 11.6 months for cleft palate. Thirty percent of patients underwent cleft palate repair after age 1.Conclusion:The birth prevalence of cleft palate and cleft lip with or without cleft palate is stable in Canada. An increasing birth prevalence of cleft palate in girls is suggested. The timing of surgical intervention is consistent with current standards. The challenges associated with collecting these data in Canada are discussed.

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