Noninfectious uveitis (NIU) is more prevalent among female than male adults and the number of cases increase in tandem with age. These are the findings of a new study published in JAMA Ophthalmology that focused specifically on noninfectious uveitis prevalence.

The researchers analyzed OptumHealth Reporting and Insights databases, including 14 million privately insured individuals, to examine NIU prevalence in 2012. Previous studies have not separated results by uveitis etiology, rather focusing on overall prevalence. The objective of this study was to study NIU specifically and stratify by markers such as inflammation location, age and sex. 

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The results found 4 million eligible adults, approximately 2.1 were female, and 932,260 children with 475,481 boys. The prevalence of NIU among adults was 121 cases per 100,000 persons (95% CI, 117.5–124.3), and for children the prevalence was 29 cases per 100,000 (95% CI, 26.1–33.2). The most common form of NIU was anterior, accounting for 81% of adult cases (98 per 100,000; 95% CI, 94.7–100.9) and 75% of pediatric cases (22 per 100,000; 95% CI, 19.3–25.4).

After anterior the next highest form of NIU was panuveitis, followed by posterior and then noninfectious intermediate, in 12 (95% CI, 10.6–12.7), 10 (95% CI, 9.4–11.5), and 1 (95% CI, 0.8–1.5) per 100,000 adults, respectively. For children the prevalence was 4 (95% CI, 2.9–5.6) 3 (95% CI, 1.8–4.1) and 0 (95% CI, 0.1–1.1) per 100,000, for panuveitis, posterior, and noninfectious intermediate, respectively.

Extrapolating this data and applying the figures to the wider U.S. population, the authors estimate that NIU affected approximately 298,801 U.S. adults (95% CI, 26.1–33.2) and 21,879 children (95% CI, 19,360–24,626) in 2015.

The authors concluded that their findings provide a better understanding of NIU prevalence, helping determine the number of patients who are affected specifically by the noninfectious form.

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