PURPOSE: Noninfectious uveitis results in vision loss and ocular complications without adequate treatment. We compared the risk of developing ocular complications between patients with noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis (NIIPPU) and matched controls.
DESIGN: Retrospective analysis of insurance claims data (OptumHealth, Eden Prairie, MN; January 1, 1998-March 31, 2012).
PARTICIPANTS: Cases 18 to 64 years of age with 2 or more NIIPPU diagnoses (International Classification of Diseases, 9th Revision, Clinical Modification codes) were matched 1:1 by sex, age, region, company, employment status, and index date with controls without uveitis. Patients with an ocular complication during baseline were excluded.
METHODS: Continuous eligibility for 6 months or more before the first NIIPPU diagnosis date was required. Risks of ocular complications developing during patients' continuous eligibility in the study period were compared using unadjusted Kaplan-Meier survival analysis to estimate risk of and time to complications and adjusted Cox regression analysis to estimate hazard ratios (HRs).
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Percentages of cases and controls who demonstrate ocular complications and 1-, 5-, and 10-year risks and HRs for each complication.
RESULTS: Mean age of the 1769 cases and matched controls was 47 years and 47% were men; 302 cases had persistent NIIPPU. During the study period, NIIPPU cases had a higher risk of any ocular complication (P < 0.001); the 5-year risk of any ocular complication was 66% for patients versus 24% for controls. Specifically, NIIPPU patients had greater 5-year risks of glaucoma (20% vs. 9%), cataract (35% vs. 13%), visual disturbance (29% vs. 9%), blindness or low vision (5% vs. 0.5%), retinal detachment (11% vs. 0.8%), and retinal disorder (28% vs. 2%) compared with controls. Hazard ratios indicated greater risks of ocular complications in cases versus controls during the overall observation period (HR, 5.2 for any ocular complication; HR, 4.8 for visual disturbance; HR, 3.2 for cataract; and HR, 2.7 for glaucoma; all P < 0.001). Hazard ratios for persistent cases indicated even greater risks.
CONCLUSIONS: Noninfectious intermediate uveitis, posterior uveitis, or panuveitis, particularly persistent disease, is associated with a substantial risk of ocular complications. Optimal treatment initiatives remain imperative to reduce the ocular complication-related burden of NIIPPU.