The burden of age-related macular degeneration: a value-based analysis

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2006 Jun;17(3):257-66. doi: 10.1097/01.icu.0000193079.55240.18.

Abstract

Purpose of review: The quality-of-life loss and the financial consequences associated with age-related macular degeneration are assessed.

Recent findings: The quality-of-life loss associated with macular degeneration is markedly underestimated by the general public, nonophthalmic physicians, and ophthalmologists who treat patients with this condition. Mild age-related macular degeneration causes a 17% decrement in the quality of life of the average patient, similar to that encountered with moderate cardiac angina or symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus syndrome. Moderate age-related macular degeneration causes a 40% decrease in the average patient's quality of life, similar to that associated with severe cardiac angina or renal dialysis. Very severe age-related macular degeneration causes a large 63% decrease in the average patient's quality of life, similar to that encountered with end-stage prostatic cancer or a catastrophic stroke that leaves a person bedridden, incontinent and requiring constant nursing care. The return on investment is high for both treatment with current age-related macular degeneration therapies and the research costs invested in the development of age-related macular degeneration treatment modalities.

Summary: Age-related macular degeneration is a major public health problem that has a devastating effect upon patients and marked adverse financial consequences for the economy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Health Care Costs
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / economics*
  • Quality of Life*