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The prevalence of sight-threatening uveitis in Scotland
  1. G J Williams1,
  2. S Brannan2,
  3. J V Forrester1,
  4. M P Gavin3,
  5. S P Paterson-Brown4,
  6. A T Purdie5,
  7. M Virdi6,
  8. J A Olson1,
  9. on behalf of the Scottish Uveitis Network
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmic Medicine, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, Scotland
  2. 2Department of Ophthalmology, Queen Margaret Hospital, Dunfermline, Scotland
  3. 3Department of Ophthalmology, Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, Scotland
  4. 4Department of Ophthalmology, Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh, Scotland
  5. 5Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Alexandria Hospital, Paisley, Scotland
  6. 6Department of Ophthalmology, Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, Scotland
  1. Correspondence to: J A Olson Grampian University Hospitals NHS Trust, Department of Ophthalmic Medicine, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD, Scotland; olson{at}


Aim: To identify and quantify the prevalence of patients with uveitis receiving systemic immunosuppression in Scotland.

Methods: Anonymised data were prospectively collected on all patients with uveitis requiring systemic immunosuppression. Seven health boards participated over a 4-month period between 1 August 2005 and 30 November 2005.

Results: 373 patients were identified, of whom 205 (55%) were female. The mean age was 46.4 (range 7–97 years). Using the data from the seven participating health boards, an estimated Scottish prevalence of 9 per 100 000 was calculated. Prevalence varied between 2 and 59 per 100 000. In National Health Service Grampian, all patients with uveitis, whether sight-threatening or not, are followed up at a specialist clinic. Extrapolating this figure to Scotland gives a prevalence of 25 per 100 000.

Discussion: The data from National Health Service Grampian suggest that there is a significant shortfall in the number of patients identified by survey. If the “missing population” exists, then where are they? Some might be receiving appropriate treatment at non-specialist clinics, although simple under-reporting may play a part. Greater concern is for those patients receiving inappropriate treatment for their uveitis, or for those within the community who are either oblivious to or in self denial of their condition.

  • NHS, National Health Service

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Published Online First 17 August 2006

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