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Seang-Mei Saw, Yingfeng Zheng, Junxing Chay, Chen Wei Pan, Ecosse Lamoureux, Eric Finkelstein, Tien Wong; The Economic Cost of Myopia in Singapore. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):5711.
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To estimate the economic cost of myopia in Singapore.
A sub study of 113 Singaporean adults aged 40 and above with myopia (spherical equivalent refraction (SE) of at least -0.5D) in the population-based ancillary study of Singapore Chinese Eye Study (SCES) was conducted. A health expenditure questionnaire included the cost of each optometrist visit, spectacles, contact lenses, laser refractive surgery and associated complications, and management of pathologic myopic complications. The economic burden of treatment of myopia was extrapolated to Singapore using data from the national census and prevalence data from epidemiologic studies.
A total of 113 out of 125 myopic subjects (90.4%) participated in the survey. The mean cost was approximately SGD$900 (USD$709) per person per year. The lifetime per capita cost ranged from SGD$295 (USD$232) for those with 0 years duration to SGD$21,616 (USD$17,020) for those with 80 years duration. Costs of spectacles, contact lenses and optometry services were the major cost drivers, contributing to an average of 65% of total costs. Seven subjects (6.2%) had undergone Lasik surgery, resulting in a cost of SGD$4,891 (USD$3,851) per patient per year. Three subjects (2.7%) reported annual costs of (SGD$33 or USD$26) for complications due to Lasik surgery or contact lenses. There was an increasing cost of myopia in adults who started to wear glasses at earlier ages. By applying our cost data to age-specific myopia prevalence data in the whole population in the country, the total cost was estimated to be approximately SGD$959 (USD$755) million per year in Singapore.
Our study shows that myopia is associated with substantial out of pocket expenditure, imposing considerable economic burden for patients. Myopia is a disease with immense societal costs and public health impact.
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