271440 Economic Burden of Eye Conditions among the U.S. Population Younger than Age 40

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 10:50 AM - 11:10 AM

John S. Wittenborn, BS , Public Health Economics Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Xinzhi Zhang , National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Charles Feagan, BS , Public Health Economics Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Wesley Crouse, BS , Public Health Economics Program, RTI International, Research Triangle Park, NC
Sundar Shrestha , National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Jinan B. Saaddine, MD, MPH , National Vision Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Objectives To estimate the total economic burden of conditions related to eyes and vision loss in the U.S. population younger than age 40.

Methods We estimated medical costs attributable to diagnosed conditions of the eye and ocular adnexa, undiagnosed vision loss, and total optometry care using Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) data. We estimated costs from lost productivity using Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) and National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data. We estimated costs of informal care, aids/adaptations, special education, school screening, government spending, and transfer payments based on published estimates and federal budgets.

Results The economic burden of eye conditions among the U.S. population younger than age 40 was $21 billion in 2010 (95% CI $17.4$26.4 billion), including $6.1 billion for children and $14.9 billion for adults aged 18 to 39. Direct costs were $15 billion, including $6.5 billion in medical costs for diagnosed disorders; $6.1 billion in optometry costs; $0.5 billion in medical costs of undiagnosed vision loss; and $1.9 billion in other direct costs. Indirect costs were $6.0 billion, primarily due to $5.3 billion in productivity losses. Patients and their families incurred 60% of total costs, while private insurance and government paid 25% and 15%, respectively. Vision loss cost society 450,000 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).

Conclusions We find the economic burden of eye conditions in the United States to be $21 billion in 2010. Monetizing quality of life losses at $50,000 per QALY would imply $22.5 billion in additional costs.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics

Learning Objectives:
Assess the economic burden of eye disorders in the younger population. List the major sources of cost and social burden from eye disorders and vision loss. Identify areas of need for further research in the population younger than age 40.

Keywords: Economic Analysis, Vision Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have served as project manager and co-principal for ongoing CDC-funded vision economics studies for 8 years and currently on a National Eye Institute grant. I have been a member of the CDC-sponsored Vision Cost-effectiveness Study Group since its inception. I have authored or co-authored 7 peer reviewed publications related to vision economics, and presented at the 2010 APHA Vision Care section.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.