Direct costs of myopia in Singapore

Eye (Lond). 2009 May;23(5):1086-9. doi: 10.1038/eye.2008.225. Epub 2008 Aug 1.


Aims: To estimate the direct costs of myopia in Singapore children.

Methods: A cross-sectional study of 377 Singaporean school children aged 12-17 years from one school in Singapore Cohort study of the Risk factors for Myopia (SCORM) was conducted. A combination of parent and self-administered questionnaires asked about the cost of each optometrist visit, spectacles, and contact lenses, transport costs, father's educational level, and total family income.

Results: A total of 377 subjects participated and cost data were available from 301 subjects. The mean annual direct cost of myopia was S$221.7+/-313.7 (CI, S$186.5-258.1) or US$147.8+/-209.1 (CI, US$124.3-172.1) and median annual direct cost of myopia was S$125.0 or US$83.3. The mean cost per pair of spectacles was S$123.2+/-61.2 (CI, S$116.6-129.8) or US$82.1+/-40.8 (CI, US$77.8-86.5). Sixty subjects (15.9%) wore contact lenses. The mean annual cost of contact lenses was S$567.1+/-565.7 (CI, S$422.2-712.0) or US$378.1+/-377.1 (CI, US$281.4-474.6). Subjects of families with higher total family income and those with fathers with secondary or higher education had higher annual direct expenditure (P=0.03 and P=0.001 respectively). Subjects from families with higher household incomes had higher frequency of change of spectacles (P=0.02) and shorter time since the last change of spectacles (P=0.03).

Conclusions: The mean annual direct cost of myopia for Singapore school children was S$221.68 (US$148) and the median, S$125.00 (US$83.33) per subject. Myopia is associated with significant financial burden in Singapore.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Contact Lenses / economics
  • Cost of Illness*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Educational Status
  • Eyeglasses / economics
  • Fathers
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures*
  • Health Services Accessibility / economics
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Myopia / economics*
  • Optometry / economics*
  • Risk Factors
  • Singapore
  • Surveys and Questionnaires