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Health Indicator Report of Birth Defects: Prevalence of Cleft Palate without Cleft Lip per 10,000 Live Births

Birth defects pose a significant public health problem. One in 33 babies is born with a structural birth defect in the United States. Birth defects cause one in five deaths among infants less than a year old and lead to $2.6 billion per year in hospital costs alone in the U.S. Children with cleft palates are at high risk for hearing problems due to ear infections. Surgical correction is begun as soon as possible.

Prevalence of Cleft Palate without Cleft Lip by County 2006-2011


New Mexico live-born infants with cleft palate who do not have a cleft lip, 2006-2011. The following International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes were used to identify cleft palate without cleft lip: 749.0 - 749.04 In 1987, CDC put forth a set of 6 digit codes (the sixth digit provides greater specificity for diagnosis) based on the British Pediatric Association Classification of Diseases and the ICD-9-CM. If CDC/BPA codes are present, the following were used to identify cleft palate without cleft lip: 749.000 - 749.090

Data Sources

  • Birth Defects Prevention and Surveillance System (BDPASS), New Mexico Department of Health.
  • Birth Certificate Data, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics (BVRHS), New Mexico Department of Health.

Data Interpretation Issues

In January 2000, birth defects became a reportable condition in New Mexico; however, birth defects were collected prior to this date. The first year of consistent data is 1998. For cleft data, the most recent year of analyzed data is 2011. Data are collected on live births occurring in-state to NM residents. Therefore, live births that occur in NM among out-of-state residents are excluded. Case finding/identification occurs through review of birth and death certificates, hospital discharge diagnoses, records from pediatric specialists and prenatal diagnostic providers. Birth defect cases are ascertained up to age 4; however, the majority of diagnoses are made by age 1.


A cleft palate occurs when the palate fails to fuse properly, which forms a grooved depression or fissure in the roof of the mouth. A cleft lip occurs when the fetal components of the lip fail to fuse or join, which forms a groove or fissure in the lip. Prevalence of cleft palate without cleft lip is the number of live-born infants with cleft palate without cleft lip per 10,000 live-born infants. (Live-born infants are the infants born with any evidence of life.)


Number of live-born infants with cleft palate who do not have a cleft lip.


Number of live-born infants.

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The national prevalence of cleft lip with or without cleft palate among births from 2004-2006 is 6.35 per 10,000 births. These data come from 14 birth defects surveillance programs: Arkansas, Arizona, California [8-county Central Valley], Colorado, Georgia [5-county metropolitan Atlanta], Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Utah. For more information, please see: Due to variability in the methods used by state birth defects surveillance systems and differences in populations and risk factors, state prevalence estimates may not be directly comparable with national estimates or those of other states.

Page Content Updated On 07/31/2014, Published on 07/31/2014
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Content updated: Fri, 5 Sep 2014 13:06:56 MDT