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Burden: Economic cost of potential lost productivity

With it widely accepted that the prevalence of myopia is increasing globally, researchers have now turned their attention to better understanding the economic impacts of this trend. A recent study, published in the journal Ophthalmology, has assessed the potential productivity loss associated with uncorrected myopia and vision impairment from myopic macular degeneration (MMD), estimating that the loss amounted to US$250 billion in 2015 alone.

Uncorrected myopia makes up the bulk of the estimated productivity loss (US$244 billion), with the majority of this loss occurring in the Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East Asia regions.* As the authors observe, “People with myopia are less likely to have adequate optical correction if they are older and live in a rural area of a less developed country.”

People with myopia are less likely to have adequate optical correction if they are older and live in a rural area of a less developed country.

Importantly, the research confirms that the potential productivity loss associated with vision impairment and blindness resulting from uncorrected myopia is substantially greater than the cost of correcting myopia. However, the researchers do warn that unless action is taken to prevent myopia, to correct and control myopia after it has occurred, and to manage the pathologic complications of high myopia, the predicted increase in prevalence of myopia is likely to lead to public health and economic problems in the future.

The study ‘Potential Lost Productivity Resulting from the Global Burden of Myopia Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Modeling’, is an open access publication and can be freely accessed here: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.10.029

*The regions are grouped according to the Global Burden of Disease study.

References

Naidoo KS, Fricke TR, Frick KD, Jong M, Naduvilath TJ, Resnikoff S, Sankaridurg P. Potential Lost Productivity Resulting from the Global Burden of Myopia Systematic Review, Meta-analysis, and Modeling. Ophthalmology. Epub ahead of print 17 October 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2018.10.029