Test of genetic heterogeneity of cleft lip with or without cleft palate as related to race and severity



The question of possible heterogeneity among population groups and phenotypic groups on the role of major gene in the etiology of cleft lip with or without cleft palate [CL(P)] was examined using the uniformly collected data in Hawaii. Complex segregation analysis was used to analyze patterns of family resemblance under the mixed model incorporating the effects of major gene and multifactorial inheritance. Analysis of the entire data showed superior fit of the mixed model including the effects of both major gene and multifactorial inheritance over the model of major gene alone or multifactorial inheritance alone. No significant heterogeneity could be detected between the high-incidence group (Oriental or Japanese) and the low-incidence group (non-Oriental) in the underlying general model, although higher heritability was observed in general. When families were classified into “severe” and “mild” phenotypes based on cleft lip vs. cleft lip and palate or unilateral vs. bilateral cleft in the proband, no significant differences could be detected between the two types in the underlying genetic model.