Anglia Ruskin University
Marques_et_al_2022.pdf (658.07 kB)
Download file

The economics of vision impairment and its leading causes: A systematic review

Download (658.07 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-07-26, 15:45 authored by Ana P. Marques, Jacqueline Ramke, John Cairns, Thomas Butt, Justine H. Zhang, Iain Jones, Marty Jovic, Allyala Nandakumar, Hannah B. Faal, Hugh R. Taylor, Andrew Bastawrous, Tasanee Braithwaite, Serge Resnikoff, Peng Tee Khaw, Rupert R. A. Bourne, Iris Gordon, Kevin Frick, Matthew J. Burton
Vision impairment (VI) can have wide ranging economic impact on individuals, households, and health systems. The aim of this systematic review was to describe and summarise the costs associated with VI and its major causes. We searched MEDLINE (16 November 2019), National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database, the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects and the Health Technology Assessment database (12 December 2019) for partial or full economic evaluation studies, published between 1 January 2000 and the search dates, reporting cost data for participants with VI due to an unspecified cause or one of the seven leading causes globally: cataract, uncorrected refractive error, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, corneal opacity, trachoma. The search was repeated on 20 January 2022 to identify studies published since our initial search. Included studies were quality appraised using the British Medical Journal Checklist for economic submissions adapted for cost of illness studies. Results were synthesized in a structured narrative. Of the 138 included studies, 38 reported cost estimates for VI due to an unspecified cause and 100 reported costs for one of the leading causes. These 138 studies provided 155 regional cost estimates. Fourteen studies reported global data; 103/155 (66%) regional estimates were from high-income countries. Costs were most commonly reported using a societal (n = 48) or healthcare system perspective (n = 25). Most studies included only a limited number of cost components. Large variations in methodology and reporting across studies meant cost estimates varied considerably. The average quality assessment score was 78% (range 35–100%); the most common weaknesses were the lack of sensitivity analysis and insufficient disaggregation of costs. There was substantial variation across studies in average treatment costs per patient for most conditions, including refractive error correction (range $12–$201 ppp), cataract surgery (range $54–$3654 ppp), glaucoma (range $351–$1354 ppp) and AMD (range $2209–$7524 ppp). Future cost estimates of the economic burden of VI and its major causes will be improved by the development and adoption of a reference case for eye health. This could then be used in regular studies, particularly in countries with data gaps, including low- and middle-income countries in Asia, Eastern Europe, Oceania, Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.



  • Yes



Page range


Publication title






File version

  • Published version


  • eng

Legacy posted date


Legacy creation date


Legacy Faculty/School/Department

Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine & Social Care

Usage metrics

    ARU Outputs


    No categories selected