Objectives. We determined the association between maternal neighborhood socioeconomic position (SEP) and the risk of cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL +/- P) or cleft palate alone (CP) in offspring.
Methods. We obtained information on CL +/- P (n = 2555) and CP (n = 1112) cases and unaffected controls (n = 14 735) among infants delivered during 1999 to 2008 from the Texas Birth Defects Registry. Neighborhood SEP variables, drawn from the 2000 US Census, included census tract-level poverty, education, unemployment, occupation, housing, and crowding, from which we created a composite neighborhood deprivation index (NDI). We used mixed-effects logistic regression to evaluate neighborhood SEP and oral clefts.
Results. Mothers with CL +/- P-affected offspring were more likely to live in high-NDI (adverse) areas than mothers with unaffected offspring (odds ratio [OR] = 1.20, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.05, 1.37). This association was strongest among Hispanic mothers (OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.07, 1.62). No associations were observed with CP.
Conclusions. Using data from one of the world's largest active surveillance birth defects registries, we found that adverse neighborhood SEP is modestly associated with CL +/- P, especially among Hispanics. These findings may have important implications for health disparities prevention.