Estimated Costs Associated with Blindness Due to AMD, Diabetic Retinopathy to Top $20B in 2020

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Total societal costs of blindness as a result of wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) is estimated to reach $20 billion in 2020, according to a new study.

Researchers looked at the estimated excess costs in blind individuals versus non-blind individuals. The projected number of individuals with blindness due to wAMD, DME, and PDR were used to determine per-patient costs in 2020.

Associated annual excess direct costs were $4,944, indirect costs were $54,614, and quality-adjusted life year loss per blind individual were 0.214. Based off the estimated 246,423 projected cases of blindness due to wAMD, DME, and PDR, societal costs are estimated to reach $20 billion in 2020. Researchers estimated this amount would triple by 2050.

The authors concluded that “Excess social costs associated with blindness in individuals with wAMD, DME, and PDR are substantial, with more than half of the burden attributed to indirect costs.

Read the full article here.



Moshfeghi AA, Lanitis T, Kropat G, et al. Social cost of blindness due to AMD and diabetic retinopathy in the United States in 2020. Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2020;51(4):S6S14.


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