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Nonmedical economic consequences attributable to visual impairment

A nation-wide approach in France

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The nonmedical costs of visual impairment are crucial when allocating resources for prevention or treatment programs. Were analyzed the data from two representative nationwide French surveys aimed at documenting impairments that included 14,603 subjects living in institutions and 16,945 in the community. Three groups were identified: blind (light perception), low vision (loss of shape perception, LV), and controls. Item consumption was standardized on confounding factors using logistic regression. Costs attributable to visual impairment were estimated from control subjects. National nonmedical costs due to visual impairment were €9,806 million, arising mostly from LV (€8,735 million). The annual average cost/subject was €7,242 for LV and €15,679 for blindness. Loss of family income was €4,552 million, the burden on the caregiver €2,525 million, paid assistance €2,025 million, social allowances €0,942 million, and unmet needs €5,553 million. Resource allocation strategies aimed at controlling visual impairment should cover all relevant economic dimensions, including nonmedical items.

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Correspondence to Gilles Berdeaux.

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Lafuma, A., Brezin, A., Fagnani, F. et al. Nonmedical economic consequences attributable to visual impairment. Eur J Health Econ 7, 158–164 (2006).

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