Purpose: To ascertain the frequency of uveitis in Veterans Affairs (VA) patients in the Pacific Northwest and to compare disease rates with those in previously published epidemiologic studies.
Design: Cross-sectional, population based-study.
Methods: The medical records of 152,267 patients seen at six VA Medical Centers in Oregon and Washington during fiscal year 2004 were searched for uveitis-related International Classification of Diseases 9th edition codes. Cases were reviewed and classified anatomically, by associated systemic disease, and as incident or prevalent. Only definite cases were used for disease rate calculations.
Results: This study found a crude incidence of 25.6 cases/100,000 person-years and a crude prevalence of 69 cases/100,000 persons. The most common anatomic location for uveitis was anterior. Approximately half of cases were idiopathic, with human leukocyte antigen-B27-related diseases being the most common identified cause. There was no statistical evidence of increased or decreased incidence with age, although uveitis seemed to be more prevalent in the younger age groups.
Conclusions: Our data are consistent with those of most published population-based studies on the epidemiologic features of uveitis, but we detected significantly lower incidence and prevalence than those reported in a recently published study from Kaiser Permanente. The significance of and possible explanations for the differences between our data and that published by the Kaiser group are discussed.