Background: Orofacial clefts are among the most common anomalies in the head and neck region and both genetic and environmental etiologies can be implicated. Aims: To evaluate the association of certain environmental risk factors with non-syndromic orofacial clefts (NSOFCs) and to determine the most common type of clefts associated with these factors.
Methodology: 288 participants were included in this cross-sectional study; 144 in case group (mothers of children with NSOFC) and equal number of control group (mothers of healthy children). Details about gender of child, type of cleft, maternal gestational age and health, level of education, socioeconomic status, folic acid intake, consanguineous marriage, family history of clefts, radiation exposure, chemotherapy, gestational smoking, alcohol and drug intake were recorded. Results: Low education level (p. v=0.001), lack of folic acid supplementation (p. v=0.003, OR=0.20, 95% CI: -0.6_1.0) family history of clefts (p. v=0.014, OR=6, 95% CI: 4.68_7.26) and low socioeconomic status (p. v=0.042) were significantly associated with NSOFCs. Using multivariate analysis, maternal education was the most significant factor followed by folic acid supplementation.
Conclusion: low education level, lack of gestational folic acid intake, family history of clefts, low socioeconomic status and consanguineous marriage all should be considered as potential risk factors for NSOFCs. Among these, maternal education and gestational folic acid supplementation were the most significant ones. Isolated cleft lip was the commonest type associated with these factors.