Statement of the Problem: Non-syndromic cleft lip and palate are the most frequent craniofacial abnormalities in humans. The genetic, environmental and behavioral factors involved in this malformation must be clarified in different parts of the globe in the view of implementing preventive measures.
Purpose: To analyze the influence of parental exposure to risk factors on the occurrence of oral clefts.
Materials and Method: A case-control study was conducted with 150 mothers of oral cleft children paired by the children’s gender to 300 mothers of children without congenital anomalies from Mato Grosso, Brazil, for the study of the variables: gender and race/color of the children; parental educational level; age; number of pregnancies; prenatal care; obesity; stress; diabetes; hypertension; use of medications, alcohol and illicit drugs; smoking and exposure to ionizing radiation during the first trimester of pregnancy. The results were analyzed in relation to the chances possibility of each variable for the occurrence of oral cleft through the bivariate and multivariate analysis by applying the model of logistic regression.
Results: Passive smoking, obesity, exposure to ionizing radiation and use of antibiotics were associated with the presence of clefts. The use of folic acid and analgesics were identified as preventive factors. The father's low educational level was found as a risk factor, while the black race/color was a preventive factor; nevertheless these variables were not associated in the multivariate analysis.
Conclusion: The results reinforce the need to follow the pregnant women, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy, in order to control the identified risk factors.
Clinical Relevance: Knowing the factors associated with the occurrence of oral clefts and those associated with its prevention, it is possible to apply specific health promotion measures during pregnancy, which can result in the reduction of oral clefts’ occurrence.