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01.12.2018 | Original research | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection 1/2018

Epidemiology of uveitis in a US population-based study

Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection > Ausgabe 1/2018
Marta Mora González, Marissé Masís Solano, Travis C. Porco, Catherine E. Oldenburg, Nisha R. Acharya, Shan C. Lin, Matilda F. Chan



The purpose of this study is to assess the relationship between self-reported uveitis and purported demographic and clinical risk factors, using an American adult population extracted from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the years 2009 and 2010. This is a cross-sectional, population-based study using a sample of 5106 subjects between 20 and 69 years old. The main outcome for our study was the self-report of a diagnosis of uveitis. The demographic analysis included age, gender, and ethnicity. Potential predictors were having a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (AS), ulcerative colitis (UC), or Crohn’s disease (CD); a history of cigarette smoking; vitamin D deficiency; and different mental health measures. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted using RStudio.


Of the 5106 participants, 27 had reported a diagnosis of uveitis, showing an adjusted prevalence of 5.4 per 1000 subjects (95% CI 3.4–8.5/1000). Increased age was associated with higher uveitis prevalence in the multivariate analysis (odds ratio [OR] = 1.04, 95% CI 1.01–1.07; p = 0.02). Positive smoking history was reported in 59.2% of patients. Multivariate analysis comparing smoking with the presence of uveitis showed an OR of 3.18 (95% CI 1.59–6.37; p = 0.003), adjusting for age and gender. Moreover, 11.1% of the participants from the uveitis group self-reported a diagnosis of AS and 11.7% informed a diagnosis of UC and 7.1% of CD. The ORs were of 16.64 (95% CI 3.64-76.09; p = 0.001), 11.34 (95% CI 2.69-47.88; p = 0.003), and 22.16 (95% CI 2.64-186.17; p = 0.007), respectively when compared with the non-uveitis group in the multivariate analysis.


Age, cigarette smoking, AS, UC, and CD are positively associated with self-reported uveitis. There is previous evidence that smoking and female gender are positive risk factors for uveitis, as well as evidence that HLA-B27-positive spondyloarthritides have the highest association with non-infectious uveitis in the adult population in North America and Europe. However, there are no prior studies that have utilized a representative US population-based sample to validate these findings. The present study supports smoking as a risk factor, which has clinical relevance since this is a modifiable habit.
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