A study by Nisha R. Acharya, M.D., M.S., of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues examined the incidence and prevalence of uveitis (eye inflammation conditions responsible for a significant proportion of legal blindness in the United States) in a Hawaiian population.

The population-based study conducted from January 2006 through December 2007 included all patients (n=217,061) enrolled in the Kaiser Permanente Hawaii health plan.

Of the patients, 224 cases of uveitis were confirmed. The overall uveitis rate was 24.9 cases per 100,000 person-years, while the annual prevalence rates for 2006 and 2007 were 57.5 and 58 per 100,000 person-years, respectively. Incidence and prevalence increased with older age, and Pacific Islanders had a lower prevalence rate than non-Pacific Islanders. White patients also had a higher prevalence rate than non-white patients, according to the results.

"The incidence and prevalence of uveitis in this population were much lower than in the Northern California Epidemiology of Uveitis Study, but similar to the Northwest Veterans Affairs Study. The results of this study highlight incidence and prevalence estimates in a new population and provide novel comparisons by race. These differences by race raise questions regarding the effects of genetic and environmental influences on the pathophysiology of uveitis," the authors conclude.