Background: To report the prevalence of current and previous uveitis within the indigenous population living within Central Australia.
Design: Population-based cross-sectional study in Central Australia.
Participants: One thousand eight hundred and eighty-four subjects who identified themselves as indigenous Australians, presenting to the remote clinics during the 36-month period between July 2005 and June 2008.
Methods: Clinical assessments for active or previous uveitis were performed. Data were collected using a standardized form.
Main Outcome Measures: Prevalence of various types of uveitis.
Results: Four of 1881 subjects had evidence of previous or current anterior uveitis, giving a prevalence for anterior uveitis of 0.21% (95% confidence interval, 0.01–0.42%). Eleven of 1854 patients had signs of previous posterior uveitis, giving a prevalence for posterior uveitis of 0.59% (95% confidence inteval 0.24–0.94%). Nine of the 11 patients with posterior uveitis cases (82%) had presumed toxoplasma retinochoroiditis. There were no cases of intermediate uveitis or panuveitis observed in this study. There were no observed cases consistent with well-recognized clinical uveitic syndromes, such as Behçet's disease or Vogt–Koyanagi–Harada syndrome.
Conclusions: A distinct pattern of uveitis appears to be present among indigenous population of remote Central Australia. Posterior uveitis was commoner than anterior uveitis with a predominance of toxoplasma retinochoroiditis. Environmental factors appeared to be more important in this genetically distinct population, with infective causes and ocular trauma being the most common aetiologies of uveitis.