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.