Nonmedical economic consequences attributable to visual impairment: a nation-wide approach in France

Eur J Health Econ. 2006 Sep;7(3):158-64. doi: 10.1007/s10198-006-0346-1.


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 euro 9,806 million, arising mostly from LV (euro 8,735 million). The annual average cost/subject was euro 7,242 for LV and euro 15,679 for blindness. Loss of family income was euro 4,552 million, the burden on the caregiver euro 2,525 million, paid assistance euro 2,025 million, social allowances euro 0,942 million, and unmet needs euro 5,553 million. Resource allocation strategies aimed at controlling visual impairment should cover all relevant economic dimensions, including nonmedical items.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Blindness / economics*
  • Blindness / epidemiology
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • France / epidemiology
  • Home Nursing / economics
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Residential Facilities / economics
  • Self-Help Devices / economics
  • Vision, Low / economics*
  • Vision, Low / epidemiology
  • Visually Impaired Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • World Health Organization