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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2013 Nov 13;54(12):7532-7. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-12795.

The economic cost of myopia in adults aged over 40 years in Singapore.

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Singapore Eye Research Institute, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore.



To estimate the economic cost of myopia among adults aged 40 years and older in Singapore.


A substudy of 113 Singaporean adults aged 40 years and older with myopia (spherical equivalent refraction of at least -0.5 diopters) in the population-based ancillary study of Singapore Chinese Eye Study (SCES) was conducted. A health expenditure questionnaire was used to assess the direct cost of myopia.


A total of 113 (90.4%) of 125 myopic subjects participated in the survey. The mean cost was approximately SGD$900 (USD$709) per person per year. The lifetime per capita cost ranged from SGD$295 (USD$232) for those with 0 year's duration to SGD$21,616 (USD$17,020) for those with 80 years' duration. Costs of spectacles, contact lenses, and optometry services were the major cost drivers, contributing to an average of 65% of total costs. Seven subjects (6.2%) had undergone LASIK surgery, resulting in a cost of SGD$4891 (USD$3851) per patient per year. Three subjects (2.7%) reported annual costs of (SGD$33 or USD$26) for complications due to LASIK surgery or contact lenses. There was an increasing cost of myopia in adults who started to wear glasses at earlier ages. By applying our cost data to age-specific myopia prevalence data in the whole population in the country, the total cost was estimated to be approximately SGD$959 (USD$755) million per year in Singapore.


Myopia is associated with substantial out-of-pocket expenditure, imposing considerable economic burden for patients. Myopia is a disorder with immense societal costs and public health impact.


Asians; Singapore; direct cost; health economics; myopia

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