Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Major Visual Disorders In People Over 40 May Be Costing U.S. Economy Billions

Date:
December 12, 2006
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Major visual disorders in Americans older than 40 years may cost the U.S. economy an estimated $35.4 billion a year, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Major visual disorders in Americans older than 40 years may cost the U.S. economy an estimated $35.4 billion a year, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Millions of Americans have visual impairment, blindness or other eye diseases, according to background information in the article. These diseases include age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, primary open-angle glaucoma and refractive errors, which are correctable with glasses or contact lenses. In addition to direct medical costs, other direct costs, such as nursing home health care, are related to these major visual disorders. Productivity losses also occur when individuals with visual impairment cannot work or earn lower wages.

David B. Rein, Ph.D., of RTI International, Research Triangle Park, N.C., and colleagues analyzed the financial burden of eye diseases in 2004. The researchers used private insurance and Medicare claim data to approximate direct medical costs. Evidence from published sources provided information about other direct costs, consisting of nursing home care, government purchase programs and guide dogs for the blind. Data from a national survey about labor and income were used to estimate productivity losses.

Researchers found that major visual disorders cost the U.S. an estimated $16.2 billion in direct medical costs, $11.1 billion in other direct costs and $8 billion in productivity losses, bringing the total annual financial burden to an estimated $35.4 billion. The annual governmental budgetary impact, calculated by adding the portion of the financial burden estimate produced by the government to additional amounts of social welfare payments from the federal treasury to people with visual impairment and blindness, was found to be $13.7 billion.

Direct medical costs were estimated to be approximately $6.8 billion for cataracts, $5.5 billion for refractive error, $2.9 billion for glaucoma, $575 million for AMD and $493 million for diabetic retinopathy. The majority of direct medical costs included outpatient services and medications, while inpatient costs accounted for almost no costs. Refractive error made up the largest share of direct medical costs for those age 40 to 64 (46.2 percent), while cataracts accounted for the largest portion among patients 65 years and older (56.2 percent). "Increased overall costs for AMD and cataracts among patients aged 65 years and older were attributable to increased numbers of patients who use outpatient services for these conditions," the authors write.

Many costs are expected to increase in the future as the American population ages, the authors note. "Public health efforts to screen for and treat currently undiagnosed disease may be likely to increase direct medical care costs, but if effective, they will also improve visual outcomes, and potentially reduce productivity losses and nursing home placements associated with visual impairment and blindness," they conclude. "Technological advancements that lead to reductions in the unit costs of glasses, cataract surgery and medications to treat glaucoma have the potential to lead to substantial direct medical cost savings.".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Major Visual Disorders In People Over 40 May Be Costing U.S. Economy Billions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212091845.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2006, December 12). Major Visual Disorders In People Over 40 May Be Costing U.S. Economy Billions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212091845.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Major Visual Disorders In People Over 40 May Be Costing U.S. Economy Billions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/12/061212091845.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

Condemned Man's US Execution Takes Nearly Two Hours

AFP (July 24, 2014) America's death penalty debate raged Thursday after it took nearly two hours for Arizona to execute a prisoner who lost a Supreme Court battle challenging the experimental lethal drug cocktail. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins