Purpose: Previous epidemiologic studies of uveitis have focused on predominantly Caucasian populations, and none have been based in the Southeast. We analyzed the epidemiology of uveitis among a referral population with a high percentage of African Americans in the United States.
Methods: We evaluated demographic data from 385 consecutive patients referred to the Duke Uveitis Clinic.
Results: Of the 385 patients, 120 (31%) were African American and 258 (67%) Caucasian; 237 (62%) were female and 148 (38%) male. The most common diagnoses among the 385 patients were idiopathic panuveitis (64 patients [17%]), idiopathic anterior uveitis (47 patients [12%]), pars planitis (46 patients [12%]), sarcoidosis (44 patients [11%]), and toxoplasmosis (39 patients [10%]). These diagnoses were also the most common among the 120 African American patients: 33 patients (28%) had idiopathic panuveitis, 30 (25%) had sarcoidosis, 10 (8%) had idiopathic anterior uveitis, 8 (7%) had toxoplasmosis, and 6 (5%) had pars planitis. Among the 258 Caucasian patients, the most common diagnoses were pars planitis (39 patients [15%]), idiopathic anterior uveitis (37 patients [14%]), toxoplasmosis (30 patients [12%]), idiopathic panuveitis (28 patients [11%]), and multifocal choroiditis and panuveitis (MCP) (17 patients [7%]). Categorizing diagnoses of all 385 patients by anatomic location, panuveitis was most frequent (148 patients [38%]), followed by anterior uveitis (97 patients [25%]), posterior uveitis (93 patients [24%]), and intermediate uveitis (47 patients [12%]).
Conclusions: The higher frequency of sarcoidosis and idiopathic panuveitis than previously reported is related to our larger African American population base. The racial composition of the Southeast does not, however, account for differences such as our higher percentage of MCP; it is possible that other genetic or environmental factors play a role in this region.