Incidence and prevalence of uveitis in South Korea: a nationwide cohort study

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Abstract

Aim

To evaluate the incidence and prevalence of uveitis and associated risk factors in South Korea.

Methods

For this retrospective national cohort study, approximately 1 000 000 Korean residents were randomly selected from the Korean National Health Insurance Service database. Uveitis was defined according to the Korean Classification of Diseases. The uveitis incidence and prevalence were calculated. Sociodemographic factors and comorbidities associated with uveitis were evaluated via Cox proportional regression models.

Results

A total of 1 094 440 subjects were evaluated over 7 051 346 person-years (mean follow-up: 6.44 years). Overall, 7447 newly developed uveitis cases were identified during the period of 2007–2013; the average incidence of uveitis was 10.6 per 10 000 person-years (95% CI 10.3 to 10.8). The average incidences of anterior and non-anterior uveitis were 9.0 and 1.5 per 10 000 person-years, respectively. The prevalence rates of uveitis, anterior uveitis and non-anterior uveitis were 17.3, 15.0 and 2.3 per 10 000 persons, respectively, during the period of 2007–2013. Increasing age, male sex, residing in a relatively rural area and high income were associated with uveitis, along with Behçet’s disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematous, ulcerative colitis and tuberculosis.

Conclusions

The overall incidence of uveitis in Korea was similar to those reported in Taiwan and the USA. Despite a potentially inaccurate disease definition, claims data may be useful for monitoring the substantial uveitis burden in South Korea.

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