Population-based incidence of uveal melanoma in various races and ethnic groups

Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Oct;140(4):612-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2005.05.034.


Purpose: To investigate racial/ethnic differences in the development of uveal malignant melanoma in a large population-based study.

Design: Observational cross-sectional study.

Methods: With the 1992 to 2000 data that was provided by the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program, we calculated age-adjusted incidence rates of uveal melanoma in various racial/ethnic groups (black, Asian and Pacific Islander, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic white). In addition, we calculated the standard incidence ratio (risk ratio) and 95% confidence interval to describe the differences within these racial/ethnic groups.

Results: From 1992 to 2000, there were a total of 1352 uveal melanomas that were diagnosed in 11 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registries with known racial/ethnic groups. The annual age-adjusted incidence (per million population) of uveal melanoma was 0.31 (black), 0.38 (Asian), 1.67 (Hispanic), and 6.02 (non-Hispanic white). The difference in the incidence of uveal melanoma between each racial/ethnic group was highly statistically significant, with the exception of the black versus the Asian population in which there was no statistically significant difference.

Conclusion: The relative risk of uveal melanoma was 1.2 for Asian and Pacific Islander patients, 5.4 for Hispanic patients, and 19.2 for non-Hispanic white patients as compared with the black patients. If the non-Hispanic white population and the Hispanic population were combined, then the overall white:black ratio was 18:1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Melanoma / ethnology*
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program / statistics & numerical data
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uveal Neoplasms / ethnology*