Brian Toy, MD: Incidence of Uveitis in the US


Using a national medical claims database, investigators found the incidence and prevalence of uveitis in the US.

Uveitis encompasses eye inflammation affecting various parts of the eye as well as both infectious and non-infectious causes.

Investigators at the University of Southern California (USC) presented data on uveitis incidence, prevalence, and risk factors at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) in Vancouver, BC.

Brian Toy, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, USC Roski Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine of USC, and an author on both posters, spoke with MD Magazine® about uveitis in the United States.

“It ended up being about 100 to about 500 per 100,000 people have uveitis, depending on what subtype we look at, so it's a relatively rare disease,” Toy told MD Mag.

What research did you present at ARVO?

We're looking—over all we have 2 different posters that are kind of related, actually. Broadly speaking, it's looking at the epidemiology of uveitis. So, the population understanding of incidence, prevalence, risk factors, complications of uveitis as a disease entity. The 2 posters are interrelated. The first one is looking at the overall incidence and prevalence of uveitis within the United States. That's important to know because that forms our baseline foundational understanding of "What is the burden of this disease within the United States? How many people does it affect? And what kind of care is required to treat it? What are the complications and risk of morbidity from it? And how do we best treat it and how do we allocate resources for that?"

What incidence rate for uveitis did you find in the data?

So, that's just very basic and then the second poster is looking at risk factors for the incidence of developing uveitis. So, uveitis is actually a collection of diseases that include basically any sort of inflammation or infection of the eye.The overall incidence that we found looking at a large healthcare insurance claims database—it's called Optum Clinformatics. Basically, anyone who is a subscriber to United Healthcare, so 47 million individuals within the United States, their health care data is included in this database. And it covers the whole United States, so it gives us a good sample to understand what's actually happening. So, we're looking at the overall incidence and prevalence. It ended up being about 100 to about 500 per 100,000 people have uveitis, depending on what subtype we look at, so it's a relatively rare disease and from that it's important to be able to understand what are the risk factors for developing uveitis.

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