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Incidence of Scleritis Down in the United Kingdom

WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2021 -- From 1997 to 2018, there was a decrease in the incidence of scleritis in the United Kingdom, according to a study published online March 16 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Tasanee Braithwaite, D.M., from King's College London, and colleagues estimated trends in scleritis prevalence and incidence in a retrospective cross-sectional and population cohort study from 1997 to 2018 involving 10,939,823 patients (2,946 incident scleritis cases) and from a case-control and cohort study from 1995 to 2019, which included 3,005 incident scleritis cases and 12,020 control patients.

The researchers found that between 1997 and 2018, the incidence rates of scleritis decreased from 4.23 to 2.79 per 100,000 person-years. In 2018, prevalence was 93.62 per 100,000 people. The risk for incident scleritis was increased in association with female sex (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 1.54), Black or South Asian race/ethnicity versus White (adjusted incidence rate ratios, 1.52 and 1.50, respectively), and older age (peak adjusted incidence rate ratio, 4.95 for ages 51 to 60 years versus <10 years). Patients with scleritis had a twofold increased risk for a prior diagnosis of infectious/immune-mediated inflammatory disease (I-IMID) compared with controls, as well as a significantly increased risk for a subsequent diagnosis of 13 I-IMIDs. The most strongly associated I-IMIDs were granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Behçet disease, and Sjögren syndrome.

"The interplay between ophthalmologically managed scleritis, and I-IMIDs managed by rheumatology and other specialties, highlights the need for multispecialty care pathways for patients with this potentially blinding disease," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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