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

Visual impairment (VI), as of 2020, affected approximately 1.1 billion people, estimated to grow to 1.1 billion people by the year 2050. Nearly 90% of those living with VI live in low- and middle-income countries, along with 80% of the global population. VI is correlated to significant economic costs of nearly US$411 billion for 2020, as well as health system costs and individual direct and indirect costs. This global systematic review comprehensively assesses the economic costs associated with VI (mild, moderate and severe) and its major causes at a global scale, by including and segregating by, direct costs, productivity losses (only for high-income countries), informal care costs, intangible costs measured using Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Compared to previous reviews conducted, Marques et al incorporated low- and middle-income countries, the seven major causes of VI, and new treatments, presenting a more comprehensive understanding of the economic impacts of VI. Results from the review of partial or full economic studies since January 2000, are presented in a structure narrative format, followed by an extensive discussion of needed improvements to regional cost reporting that will improve future cost estimate analysis.

Publication date

March 22, 2023


eClinical Medicine, part of The Lancet Discovery Science

Sponsor Institution

The Lancet Global Health Commission on Global Eye Health


Ana Patricia Marques, Jacqueline Ramke, John Cairns, Thomas Butt, Justine H Zhang, Iain Jones, Marty Jovic, Allyala Nandakumar, Hannah Faal, Hugh Taylor, Andrew Bastawrous, Tasanee Braithwait, Serge Resnikoff, Peng T Khaw, Rupert Bourne, Iris Gordon, Kevin Frick, Matthew J Burton
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