Prevalence and demographics of multiple sclerosis-associated uveitis: a UK biobank study

Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2020 Aug;43:102209. doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102209. Epub 2020 May 23.


Background: Uveitis describes intraocular inflammation of the uveal tract. It may occur in the absence of a predisposing underlying condition, or may be secondary to a systemic autoimmune disease or ocular infection. An association with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) has also been observed.

Objectives: To investigate the association between MS and uveitis in UK Biobank.

Methods: 1696 individuals with MS were identified within UK Biobank using ICD-10 code G35 and 626 individuals with uveitis were identified using ICD-10 codes H20, H30, and H22.1. Participants who had a comorbid autoimmune condition that could also be associated with uveitis were excluded from analysis, as were those in whom MS was diagnosed prior to uveitis. 1568 individuals with MS and 470 individuals with uveitis were included in the final analysis. We used multivariable logistic regression to model uveitis diagnosis on MS status and control for confounding factors (age, sex, and socio-economic status). We also examined phenotypic and genetic characteristics of individuals with both conditions.

Results: Uveitis prevalence in people with MS was 0.51%, compared to 0.10% in controls. The adjusted odds ratio (OR) of MS given a diagnosis of uveitis was OR 5.25, 95% CI 2.6 - 10.6, p=0.00024. 87.5% of people with both diagnoses were female and 87.5% identified as White. 25.0% were DRB1*15 heterozygotes, while 75.0% carried no copies of the DRB1*15 risk allele.

Conclusions: These findings support the suggested association of these two conditions and demonstrate a comparable predominance of white females with both conditions.

Keywords: Biological specimen banks; Cohort studies; Inflammation; Multiple sclerosis; Uveitis, Prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Specimen Banks
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / complications
  • Multiple Sclerosis* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Uveitis* / epidemiology