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RESEARCH STUDY

RESEARCH

Direct Costs of Myopia in Singapore

AUTHOR:

MCC Lim

SPONSOR/INSTITUTION:

National Medical Research Council

YEAR PUBLISHED:

2009

PUBLICATION:

Eye

KEY HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Myopia affects a significant proportion of school children in East Asia is well established, with a reported prevalence of 73.9% in Singaporean teenagers.

  • Related public health costs can be considerable, most obviously from direct costs of refractive correction arising from purchases of spectacles, contact lenses, and their accessories. Globally, myopia cost US$4.6 billion in 1990.

  • In 2009, the mean annual direct cost of myopia for Singapore school children was S$221.68 (US$148) and the median, $125.00 (US$83.33) per subject.

SUMMARY

The fact that myopia affects a significant proportion of school children in East Asia is well established, with a reported prevalence of 73.9% in Singaporean teenagers.

Its public health costs can be considerable, most obviously from direct costs of refractive correction arising from purchases of spectacles, contact lenses, and their accessories. Globally, myopia cost US$4.6 billion in 1990.


The increasingly popular option of laser refractive surgery also has costs, which may be equivalent to wearing soft contact lenses for 10 years. Other medical costs such as those associated with morbidity arising from myopia, such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataract, and associated visual disability and blindness also exist.


This 2009 study aimed to calculate the direct costs of myopia in Singapore teenage school children. The findings are: 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.