Purpose To evaluate the prevalence of large drusen in a uveitis clinic population.
Design Retrospective, cohort study.
Methods Patients with primary, non-infectious uveitis 55 years or older who were seen at the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health from 2004 through August 2013 were reviewed using electronic medical records and photographic databases. Patients were classified as having age-related macular degeneration (AMD) if either eye had large drusen, geographic atrophy or neovascular AMD according to definitions used by the Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group (EDPRG). The expected number of cases and standardised mortality ratio (SMR) for large drusen were estimated based on EDPRG estimates.
Results We identified 177 patients aged ≥55 years as having primary non-infectious uveitis; 170 (96.0%) had gradable fundus photos. Average age was 65.0±7.5 years (range 55–87), and 87 were non-Hispanic white, 66 non-Hispanic black, 6 Hispanic white and 11 of other race/ethnicity. Large drusen were identified in four patients (2.4%; 95% CI 0.6 to 6.0). No patients were identified to have late AMD. In the uveitis cohort, the SMR for cases of large drusen, which was adjusted for age, was calculated to be 0.32 (95% CI 0.12 to 0.70) for the whole cohort, 0.28 (95% CI 0.09 to 0.79) for non-Hispanic whites and 0.46 (95% CI 0.14 to 1.29) for non-Hispanic blacks.
Conclusions Large drusen prevalence among patients with uveitis ≥55 years of age appears less than the prevalence in the general US population after accounting for differences in age distribution, especially for non-Hispanic whites. Although the racial and gender distribution in this study population is not directly representative of the general US population, results of this study suggest possible sparing of patients with uveitis from AMD. A larger systematic study with greater power would be needed to confirm these findings.