Information and Resources
The WI EPHT provides data about cleft lip and cleft palate as the following:
* Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate, and
* Cleft Palate without Cleft Lip.
Information and Resources
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- What is a cleft lip?
A cleft lip is an opening in the upper lip that can be a small slit in the lip or a large opening that goes through the lip into the nose. The cleft can occur during the early stages of pregnancy (at about 4-7 weeks of pregnancy) when the lip is being formed. A cleft lip can be on one or both sides of the lip, or more rarely, can be in the middle. Children with a cleft lip sometimes also have a cleft palate.
Surgery to repair the cleft lip is usually done in the first few months of life, although more surgeries are sometimes needed later in life.
- What is a cleft palate?
A cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth, called the palate. The palate is formed early in pregnancy (at about 6-9 weeks of pregnancy). A cleft palate can occur when the two sides of the palate do not come together correctly. In some children, both the hard (front) and soft (back) parts of the palate are open. In other children, only part of the palate is open.
Surgery to repair a cleft palate is usually done in the first year of life, although more surgeries are sometimes needed later in life.
- What causes cleft lip or cleft palate?
It is unknown what causes cleft lip or cleft palate in most infants. Some children have a cleft lip or cleft palate because of changes in their genes. Cleft lip and cleft palate could be caused by a combination of genes and other factors. Smoking during pregnancy is one factor that increases the chance of having a baby with a cleft lip or cleft palate. Certain medications, changes in nutrition, and other factors also may increase the chance of having a baby with a cleft lip or cleft palate.
- Can cleft lip and cleft palate be prevented?
There is still a lot we don’t know about how to prevent cleft lip, cleft palate, and many other birth defects. We do know that women who smoke during pregnancy are more likely to have a baby with a cleft lip or palate than women who do not.
- What problems do children with cleft lip or cleft palate have?
Children with cleft lip or cleft palate often have problems with feeding and speech. Other problems can include many ear infections, hearing loss, and problems with their teeth.
- Where can I get more information about cleft lip and cleft palate?
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
* Facts About Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate
All external hyperlinks are provided for your information and for the benefit of the general public. The Department of Health Services does not testify to, sponsor, or endorse the accuracy of the information provided on externally linked pages.
Last Revised: January 28, 2014
Access the cleft lip and cleft palate data in the WI EPHT online database. Review the Data Details below to learn about interpreting the data.
The WI EPHT online data has data about other birth defects:
- Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21)
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Spina Bifida (without Anencephaly)
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Transposition of the Great Arteries
- Lower Limb Deficiencies
- Upper Limb Deficiencies
What is the data source?
The website provides data from the Wisconsin Birth Defects Registry, which is maintained by the Birth Defect Prevention and Surveillance program, Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
How does WI EPHT measure birth defects?
The WI EPHT website includes the following measures:
- Prevalence rate of live births by geography
- Number of birth defects by geography
What are some considerations for interpreting the data?
While significant effort is made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the data, there are limitations that are listed below:
- The Wisconsin Birth Defects Registry does not currently receive reports from all providers in the state. Thus, the numbers presented here represent only a subset of the actual cases.
- Reporters have up to two years to provide data to the registry, so some cases from the most recent years may not yet be included in the registry.
There are many factors that can contribute to a disease and should be considered when interpreting the data. Some of these include:
- Demographics, e.g., race, gender, age
- Socioeconomic Status, e.g., income level, education
- Geographic, e.g., urban vs. rural
- Changes in the medical field, e.g., diagnosis patterns, reporting requirements