Uveitis Prevalence and Risk

Prevalence

Uveitis is relatively rare, with a prevalence (total number of people affected) that vary by study and geographical location. The following rates have been reported for the countries below in the literature 27.

  • 38 per 100,000 people in France
  • 76.6 per 100, 000 in Finland
  • 200 per 100, 000 in the United States
  • 730 per 100, 000 in India

 

Uveitis can affect people of any age, including children, but is most common in individuals aged between 20 and 60 years of age 28. If untreated, uveitis is a sight-threatening condition, and accounts for up to 20% of legal blindness worldwide. It is the fifth most common cause of vision loss among working-age people in developed countries 27.

Risk Factors

Most cases of uveitis occur because of the following factors:

  • Autoimmune diseases (e.g., reactive arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis)
  • Infections (e.g., Lyme disease, tuberculosis, herpes)
  • Side effects of certain medications 
  • Injury to the eye

 

A significant proportion (up to 50%) of uveitis cases may occur without a known cause (termed as ‘idiopathic’ uveitis) 29.

The causes of uveitis vary by geographic location. A recent epidemiological review has shown that uveitis due to infectious causes is more common in developing countries (30–60% cases) whereas uveitis due to non-infectious causes is more prevalent in developed countries 30.

Uveitis Occurrence

There is some evidence in the literature that uveitis may be more common among people with diabetes. Several patient case reports have reported an association between uveitis in people with diabetes 31-34, while studies in Spain and Netherlands have reported a higher prevalence of diabetes among elderly patients with uveitis, compared with the general elderly population in these countries 35, 36. However, not all studies have shown an association between uveitis and diabetes, and there is still no conclusive evidence to demonstrate that diabetes causes uveitis to develop 37. Anterior uveitis is the most common type in people living with diabetes 35, 38.

The term “diabetes mellitus (DM)-related uveitis” has been adopted by some experts to define the occurrence of uveitis among patients with poorly managed diabetes 37 .

 

Access the full bibliography here:

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