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M. L. Pezzullo, R. Varma, A. Crook; The Economic Impact and Cost of Visual Impairment in the United States. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):4904.
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To quantify the total economic costs of vision loss in the United States.
Epidemiological prevalence data of vision loss, national healthcare and other cost databases were used.
Vision loss cost the United States an estimated $69.6 billion in 2005 in financial costs and an estimated additional $103 billion is the loss of wellbeing (years of life lost as a result of disability and premature mortality), with 3.56 million Americans visually impaired. Health system expenditures were $50.1 billion for the 15.1 million people treated for visually impairing conditions (excluding properly corrected refractive error). Of this, hospital inpatient services cost $16.3 billion, pharmaceuticals and office-based services (primary care practitioners, medical specialists and allied health care) were each $10.2 billion and hospital outpatient services cost $5.2 billion. Other financial costs included $16.1 billion in community care (paid and unpaid services that provide home and personal care to people with visual impairment), productivity losses ($2.9 billion) and $346 million in devices and modifications (such as Braille/computer modifications, lenses, canes and clocks). Each year, some 600,000 years of healthy American life are lost due to low vision and blindness. Financial costs are borne 32% by individuals (households), 36% by governments and 32% by the rest of society. However, when the value of the net disease burden is included, 73% of the costs are borne by individuals, 14% by governments and 13% by other social entities.
With demographic ageing, the overall population prevalence and cost of visual impairment is projected to increase in coming decades. Around 76% of visually impairing conditions are currently treated in the United States to avoid vision loss and its costly disease burden.Keywords: visual impairment; cost; economic impact
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