The European Journal of Health Economics

, Volume 11, Issue 6, pp 525–531

The direct, indirect and intangible costs of visual impairment caused by neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10198-009-0207-9

Cite this article as:
Ke, K.M. Eur J Health Econ (2010) 11: 525. doi:10.1007/s10198-009-0207-9


Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD) is a chronic, progressive disease of the central retina, and its prevalence is expected to rise with the ageing population. Using a bottom-up approach based on retrospective data, this cross-sectional study estimated average annual direct costs of nvAMD to be £4,047, and average annual indirect costs to be £449. An attempt to measure intangible costs through willingness-to-pay yielded a lower response rate and estimated intangible costs to be 11.5% of monthly income. Direct costs were significantly higher for male participants, for those who have mild or moderate visual impairment in both eyes, and for those who have been diagnosed for a shorter time. The findings of this study suggest that the availability of early diagnosis, effective treatment, support services, and sustained research into the management of nvAMD may reduce the burden of visual impairment caused by nvAMD to affected individuals and the state.


Economic costsNeovascular age-related macular degenerationVisual impairment

JEL Classification


Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral and Dental Science, Bristol Dental SchoolUniversity of BristolBristolUK