Background/Aims: To investigate the incidence and patterns of acute anterior uveitis (AAU) in Central Australia and to specifically study the relative frequency of AAU in Australian Aborigines compared to that in non-Aboriginal patients.
Methods: Prospective, observational study of all patients seen by the Central Australian Ophthalmology service over an 8-month period.
Results: Incidence rate of AAU in Central Australia was 35.9 cases /100,000 population per year. Forty two percent of the 1955 patients seen during the study period were Aboriginal patients, however all but one patient with AAU were Caucasian. The difference in the incidence of AAU between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations was statistically significant (p=0.03, Fisher’s exact test). Four of the 9 Caucasian patients with AAU were HLA-B27 positive. The single case of AAU in the Australian Aborigine was a recurrent episode of HLA-B27 positive AAU. A family history of this patient revealed that both her grandfathers were Caucasian.
Conclusion: The incidence and pattern of AAU in Central Australia is comparable to that in other geographic regions. However, AAU occurs distinctly infrequently in Australian Aborigines as compared to that in non-Indigenous population of Central Australia, further implicating the importance of genetic factors in the pathogenesis of AAU.
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