The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe

Usha Chakravarthy, Eliana Biundo, Omer Saka, Christina Fasser, Rupert Bourne, Julie-Anne Little

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)

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.
LanguageEnglish
Pages239-247
Number of pages9
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Volume24
Issue number4
Early online date30 Jun 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2017

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Vision Disorders
Blindness
Economics
Costs and Cost Analysis
European Union
Salaries and Fringe Benefits
Gross Domestic Product
Unemployment
Parity
Health Care Costs
Population
Age Groups

Keywords

  • Blindness
  • direct costs
  • productivity loss
  • visual impairment

Cite this

Chakravarthy, U., Biundo, E., Saka, O., Fasser, C., Bourne, R., & Little, J-A. (2017). The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe. Ophthalmic Epidemiology, 24(4), 239-247. https://doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426
Chakravarthy, Usha ; Biundo, Eliana ; Saka, Omer ; Fasser, Christina ; Bourne, Rupert ; Little, Julie-Anne. / The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe. In: Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2017 ; Vol. 24, No. 4. pp. 239-247.
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Chakravarthy, U, Biundo, E, Saka, O, Fasser, C, Bourne, R & Little, J-A 2017, 'The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe', Ophthalmic Epidemiology, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 239-247. https://doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426

The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe. / Chakravarthy, Usha; Biundo, Eliana; Saka, Omer; Fasser, Christina; Bourne, Rupert; Little, Julie-Anne.

In: Ophthalmic Epidemiology, Vol. 24, No. 4, 30.06.2017, p. 239-247.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe

AU - Chakravarthy, Usha

AU - Biundo, Eliana

AU - Saka, Omer

AU - Fasser, Christina

AU - Bourne, Rupert

AU - Little, Julie-Anne

PY - 2017/6/30

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N2 - 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.

AB - 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.

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DO - 10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426

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JO - Ophthalmic Epidemiology

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JF - Ophthalmic Epidemiology

SN - 0928-6586

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Chakravarthy U, Biundo E, Saka O, Fasser C, Bourne R, Little J-A. The Economic Impact of Blindness in Europe. Ophthalmic Epidemiology. 2017 Jun 30;24(4):239-247. https://doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1281426