Incidence of uveal melanoma in the United States: 1973-1997

Ophthalmology. 2003 May;110(5):956-61. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(03)00078-2.


Purpose: To determine the incidence of primary uveal melanoma in the United States over a 25-year period from 1973 to 1997.

Design: Systematic review of existing databases.

Participants: Two thousand four hundred ninety-three patients with primary uveal melanoma (International Classification of Oncology [ICDO-2] codes C69.3 [choroid melanoma] and C69.4 [ciliary body and iris]) derived from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program database in the United States from 1973 to 1997.

Methods: The significance of trend in age-adjusted incidence rate was determined using chi-square test, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

Main outcome measures: The age-adjusted incidence rate.

Results: There was a total of 2493 cases of uveal melanoma, representing 2.9% of all recorded cases of melanoma. Almost all cases (99.4%) were reported by the hospitals, and histopathologic confirmation was available in 81.3% of cases. The mean age-adjusted incidence of uveal melanoma in the United States was 4.3 per million (4.1-4.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]). Most cases (97.8%) occurred in the white population. There was significant variation of incidence between genders (males, 4.9 [4.6-5.2] 95% CI interval; females, 3.7 [3.5-3.9] 95% CI interval). There was no significant variation of incidence by the geographic location of the registry and over the entire period of observation (chi-square test).

Conclusions: The mean age-adjusted incidence of uveal melanoma (4.3 per million) in the United States is similar to that reported from European countries. The age-adjusted incidence rate of uveal melanoma has remained stable for the past 25 years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • SEER Program / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / epidemiology*