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December 1961

Congenital Cleft Lip and Palate: Risk Figures for Counseling

Author Affiliations

F. Clarke Fraser, M.D., McGill University, Montreal, Canada.; From the Department of Genetics, The Research Institute of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto (Mrs. Curtis), the Department of Medical Genetics, The Montreal Children's Hospital, and the Department of Genetics, McGill University.

Am J Dis Child. 1961;102(6):853-857. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1961.02080010855007

Parents who have had a child with a gross malformation, such as cleft lip or palate, are often deeply concerned about the possibility that the anomaly will occur in subsequent children, their children's children, or other relatives. Unfortunately, the information on which answers to these questions should be based is often not available. Although most of the common malformations do show a familial tendency,5 they do not conform to any simple Mendelian pattern of inheritance. One cannot, therefore, make statements of recurrence risk based on Mendelian theory, but must resort to empirical estimates of average probability, derived from the observed frequencies of affected persons in each group of relatives.4

Several workers have presented such average risk figures for cleft lip and/or palate.1,2,3 However, certain groups of relatives occur so infrequently (e.g. the children of affected persons) that the estimates of recurrence risk in such categories have been

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