Background The burden of blindness worldwide is unequal with regards to sex, with women accounting for 64.5% of blindness. 1 While some of this discrepancy can be explained by factors such as poorer access to care, it is not sufficient to explain the entirety of the problem. 2 The uveitides are a collection of diseases that result in inflammation of the uveal tract that may also involve the retina and vitreous. The causes of uveitis can be either noninfectious (most are considered forms of autoimmune uveitis) or infectious. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to poor visual outcomes, including blindness. Interestingly, these diseases affect the sexes differently, with some being more common in women and others more common in men. 3 Along with the finding that the prevalence of autoimmunity in women is higher than in men, uveitides with autoimmune etiologies, such as those resulting from systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and sarcoidosis tend to be reported more frequently in women than in men. 4 Although the cause for this is unclear, recent evidence has pointed towards how sex hormones affect the autoimmune response; estrogen increases the response, whereas androgens suppress it. However, other evidence suggests that estrogen’s effect
International Ophthalmology Clinics – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: Jan 1, 2015
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