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The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe

Chakravarthy, Usha, Biundo, Eliana, Saka, Omer, Fasser, Christina, Bourne, Rupert and Little, Julie-Anne (2017) The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe. Ophthalmic Epidemiology . pp. 1-9. [Journal article]

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URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426

DOI: 10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426

Abstract

PURPOSE: To estimate the annual loss of productivity from blindness and moderate to severe visual impairment (MSVI) in the population aged >50 years in the European Union (EU).METHODS: We estimated the cost of lost productivity using three simple models reported in the literature based on (1) minimum wage (MW), (2) gross national income (GNI), and (3) purchasing power parity-adjusted gross domestic product (GDP-PPP) losses. In the first two models, assumptions included that all individuals worked until 65 years of age, and that half of all visual impairment cases in the >50-year age group would be in those aged between 50 and 65 years. Loss of productivity was estimated to be 100% for blind individuals and 30% for those with MSVI. None of these models included direct medical costs related to visual impairment.RESULTS: The estimated number of blind people in the EU population aged >50 years is ~1.28 million, with a further 9.99 million living with MSVI. Based on the three models, the estimated cost of blindness is €7.81 billion, €6.29 billion and €17.29 billion and that of MSVI €18.02 billion, €24.80 billion and €39.23 billion, with their combined costs €25.83 billion, €31.09 billion and €56.52 billion, respectively. The estimates from the MW and adjusted GDP-PPP models were generally comparable, whereas the GNI model estimates were higher, probably reflecting the lack of adjustment for unemployment.CONCLUSION: The cost of blindness and MSVI in the EU is substantial. Wider use of available cost-effective treatment and prevention strategies may reduce the burden significantly.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:Blindness; direct costs; productivity loss; visual impairment
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Biomedical Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Biomedical Sciences Research Institute
Biomedical Sciences Research Institute > Optometry and Vision Science
ID Code:36312
Deposited By: Dr Julie-Anne Little
Deposited On:06 Jul 2017 12:51
Last Modified:30 Jun 2018 22:23

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