May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
The Effect of Race on World Incidence of Retinoblastoma
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. M. Krishna
    The New York Eye Cancer Center, New York, New York
    UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California
  • P. T. Finger
    The New York Eye Cancer Center, New York, New York
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships S.M. Krishna, None; P.T. Finger, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support The EyeCare Foundation, New York City,
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 1590. doi:
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      S. M. Krishna, P. T. Finger; The Effect of Race on World Incidence of Retinoblastoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1590.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To present a comparative study that examines worldwide retinoblastoma incidence for regional variations by race.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) provides compiled retinoblastoma incidence data. Age-adjusted incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals were determined by race in 109 IARC regions from 1993-1997. For those regions that coded race in the dataset, racial incidence was calculated directly. For those regions that coded only white race, racial incidence was calculated in whites and estimated in other races. For those regions that did not code race, all racial incidences were estimated using regional racial composition data. All incidences were calculated per 100,000 live births.


A total of 1380 cases of retinoblastoma were IARC registered. The mean age-adjusted incidence was 0.16 (CI: 0.13-0.18). In white patients worldwide, we found a mean age-adjusted incidence of 0.144 (CI: 0.143-0.145) in the United States and of 0.16 (CI: 0.14-0.18) in regions outside the USA with predominantly white populations (white>85%). In Hispanic patients in the United States, we found a national mean incidence of 0.048 (CI: 0.047-0.049). In black patients in the United States, we found a national mean incidence of 0.042 (CI: 0.041-0.043). Notable variations existed between specific regions.


This comparative study of worldwide retinoblastoma epidemiology indicates that the mean incidences of retinoblastoma in white patients of the United States and Europe, Canada, and Australia are similar to one another. This suggests that geographical factors do not influence the development of retinoblastoma in developed countries. Additionally, retinoblastoma was estimated to be 23.5 times more common in whites than in non-whites in the United States. This has potential implications for screening procedures in the United States.Table 1. Mean incidences (per 100000) of retinoblastoma by race in 31 IARC registries. Non-US incidences reported as white (white population>85%). UCI- upper confidence interval;LCI- lower confidence interval.  

Keywords: retinoblastoma • oncology • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence 

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