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M. C. Lim, G. Gazzard, H.-C. Tan, L. Tong, S.-M. Saw; Direct Costs of Myopia in Singapore. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4998.
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To estimate the costs of myopia in Singapore children.
A cross-sectional study of 378 Singaporean school children aged 12 to 17 years from one school in Singapore Cohort study Of the Risk factors for Myopia (SCORM) was conducted. A self-administered questionnaire asked about the cost of each optometrist visit, spectacles, and contact lenses as well as transport costs. Other factors assessed included father’s educational level and total family income.
Three hundred and seventy-seven subjects participated and cost data were available from 301 subjects. The mean annual direct cost of myopia was S$221.70 ± 313.7 [95% CI, S$186.51-258.13] and median annual direct cost of myopia was S$125.00. Subjects of families with higher total family income and those with fathers with secondary or higher education had significantly higher annual direct expenditure than those from lower income families and with fathers with primary and no formal education (P = 0.03 and P = 0.001 respectively). There were more females in the group with valid cost data (P =0.006) but no significant differences for monthly income, father’s education, race and age of first visit. Extrapolating our findings to the Singaporean population showed that myopia costs the country S$370M (US$246M) or S$100 (US$67) per capita.
The mean annual direct cost of myopia for Singapore school children was S$221.68 (US$148) and extrapolated per capita direct costs was S$100 (US$67). Myopia is associated with significant financial burden in Singapore.
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