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Incidence of ocular melanoma in the general population and in glaucoma patients
  1. C Huerta,
  2. L A García Rodríguez
  1. Centro Español de Investigación Farmacoepidemiológica (CEIFE), Almirante 28; 2º, 28004 Madrid, Spain
  1. Dr Huerta (chuerta{at}

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Intraocular melanomas are the most common primary ocular malignancy in white people accounting for approximately 70% of all eye malignancies in adults.1 Most ocular melanomas arise from uveal melanocytes distributed throughout the stroma of the choroid,2 only 4%–10% of uveal melanomas originate in the iris.3

Data on the incidence of intraocular melanoma are limited with estimates of incidence rate (IR) reported between 4 and 8 per million per year.1 Known risk factors include advanced age and white people but there are very few studies describing other potential risk factors for uveal melanoma.4

We conducted a study using the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) to estimate the incidence rate of ocular melanoma in the general population. As a secondary objective, we investigated whether glaucoma is associated with ocular melanoma.


Our source population came from the GPRD, which contains clinical information on about 3 million patients recorded by general practitioners in the United Kingdom. The geographical distribution of the practices participating in the GPRD is representative of the UK population, apart from small variations between regions.5Recent comparisons of age and sex distribution with the National Population Census have shown these to be closely similar.5The general …

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  • Funding: this study was supported in part by a research grant from Pharmacia and Upjohn.

  • Conflicts of interest: none.