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Cleft lip with or without cleft palate (CL/P) is a common birth defect (birth prevalence ranging from 1/500 to 1/2,000) with a complex etiology. Traits potentially related to CL/P, such as dermatoglyphics, may reflect the genetic and epidemiologic heterogeneity observed in CL/P. Such phenotypic heterogeneity in dermatoglyphic patterns may account for some of the variability in previously reported associations of dermatoglyphics and CL/P. To test this hypothesis, we took dermatoglyphic prints from individuals with nonsyndromic CL/P (n = 460) and their unaffected relatives (n = 254) from the Philippines and China. For both samples three raters designated the patterns as arch, ulnar loop, radial loop, whorl, or ‘‘other.’’ Chi-square analysis and standard ANOVA were used to investigate heterogeneity between Filipino and Chinese study subjects. The significant associations between particular pattern types and CL/P were not the same in both populations, demonstrating population-specific association of CL/P and dermatoglyphic pattern types. The ANOVA of pattern type included both CL/P cases and their relatives, with affection status, sex, and population group as variables. For each pattern type except arches, population was significant ( p < 0.0001); for radial loops, affection status was additionally significant ( p < 0.0001). When only CL/P cases were considered, population was again significant for the ulnar loop ( p < 0.0001), whorl ( p < 0.0001), and ‘‘other’’ ( p < 0.0002) patterns. The ANOVAs demonstrate between-population heterogeneity in dermatoglyphic pattern types. These results support our hypothesis that population-specific associations and population heterogeneity in dermatoglyphic patterns exist for CL/P cases and their relatives.