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The Economic Impact of Adult Visual Disorders in the United States

This study estimated the combined economic impact of age-related macular degenteration (AMD), cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and refractive error among Americans aged 40 and older. The study estimated a total financial burden of major visual disorders of $35.4 billion comprised of $16.2 billion in direct medical costs, $11.1 billion in other direct costs, and $8 billion in productivity losses, in 2004 dollars. Annually, the federal government and state Medicaid agencies pay at least $13.7 billion of these costs.

Annual total burden to the U.S. economy of AMD, Cataract, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Refractive Errors, Visual Impairment and Blindness

Annual total burden to the U.S. economy of AMD, Cataract, Diabetic Retinopathy, Glaucoma, Refractive Errors, Visual Impairment and Blindness. Direct medical costs: $16.2 billion; Direct non-medical costs: $11.2 billion; Productivity losses: $8 billion; total: $35.4 billion
 

Rein DB, Zhang P, Wirth KE, et al. The economic burden of major adult visual disorders in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol 2006;124(12):1754–1760.

Illustration reproduced with permission from: Richman EA, Netrabile S, Sekulich K. The economic impact of vision problems: The toll of major adult eye disorders, visual impairment, and blindness on the U.S. economy. Chicago: Prevent Blindness America, 2007.
 

 
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