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Home Home Oral Health Babies With Cleft Lip: Normal Adulthood Likely
Babies With Cleft Lip: Normal Adulthood Likely
News - WebMD Oral Health
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The final analysis included more than 2,300 babies born with clefts and more than 1.4 million infants not born with clefts.

The study findings were published online Sept. 26 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.

One expert said there can be a lot of variance in how a cleft lip and cleft palate are treated because there are no established standards of care.

"Clefts of the lip and palate occur in one in 700 births," said Dr. Kelly Evans, an acting assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle. She co-wrote an editorial that accompanied the study.

Although clefts are common, little research has been done on the best care for children born with clefts and the adults they become, Evans said. "Consequently, health care for those with clefts can look very different from one hospital to another," she said.

"In addition, we know very little about health of adults who were born with a cleft, and this makes it challenging to know if the care that we deliver early is having the best long-term effects," she said.

This study should increase awareness of cleft-related care, Evans said. Health care professionals, researchers, patients and families need to continue to work together to conduct research into the conditions, she added.

"Ultimately, such collaborations will pave the way to ensure that all individuals with clefts have access to optimal treatments to achieve the best outcomes possible throughout childhood and adulthood," Evans said.

Dr. Edward McCabe is chief medical officer for the March of Dimes. He said the study findings "should be reassuring to families in which an ultrasound picks up a cleft lip. It might be concerning to those with a cleft palate."

The causes of clefts aren't known, he said.

It's important to be aware that potential problems may exist and to identify them early so children get the help they need early, he said.

"It doesn't mean that every baby with a cleft palate is going to have problems, but there is an increased risk," McCabe said.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCES: Erik Berg. M.D., University of Bergen, Norway; Kelly Evans, M.D., acting assistant professor, department of pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle; Edward McCabe, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer, March of Dimes; Sept. 26, 2016, JAMA Pediatrrics, online

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