Current concepts on the effect of environmental factors on cleft lip and palate

School of Dentistry, University of Seville, Spain.
International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.57). 12/2012; 42(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.ijom.2012.10.008
Source: PubMed


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of environmental factors, such as tobacco, alcohol and folic acid intake, obesity, stressful events, low blood levels of zinc and fever during pregnancy, on the incidence of cleft lip and/or palate (CL±P). An electronic search was performed in the Cochrane Reviews, the ISI Web of Knowledge, PubMed and Scopus, along with a manual search to identify other relevant case-control and cohort studies. Quality assessments and an evaluation of publication bias were undertaken. Statistical heterogeneity was examined, and odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) estimated using the random effects model. Of 372 articles initially retrieved, 28 studies were selected as eligible for meta-analysis. No evidence of publication bias was found using funnel plot analysis and the Egger linear regression method. Many studies were classified as low quality due to inadequate case-control data. On the basis of this research, maternal factors most associated with CL±P were: tobacco (OR 1.48), alcohol (OR 1.28), folic acid intake (OR 0.77), obesity (OR 1.26), stressful events (OR 1.41), low blood zinc levels (OR 1.82), and fever during pregnancy (OR 1.30). Folic acid intake by the mother reduced the risk of CL±P in offspring (OR 0.77).

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