The economic impact of sight loss and blindness in the UK adult population

Title: The economic impact of sight loss and blindness in the UK adult population, 2013

Author: Access Economics, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2019.

Background

Access Economics was commissioned by RNIB to update the 2009 Access Economics report on the economic impact of sight loss and blindness in the UK adult population, including the direct and indirect costs of sight loss and blindness, and the burden of sight loss and blindness on health. The previous report was also known as "Future Sight Loss UK 1".

The new research was published in the BMC Health Services Research journal in 2018.

The updated report comprises of the following estimates for the year 2013:   

  • Prevalence of sight loss by age, gender, ethnicity, severity, and major cause, by UK nation.   
  • Future projections by decade to the year 2050.   
  • Direct health system costs of sight loss.   
  • Indirect cost of sight loss, such as informal carer costs.   
  • Burden of disease, measured in terms of disability adjusted life years.   

Key findings 

  • In 2013 there were an estimated 1.93 million people living with sight loss in the UK.   
  • The number of people living with sight loss is increasing each year and is set to double by 2050.   
  • Sight loss places a large economic cost on the UK, totalling an estimated £28 billion in 2008.   
  • Direct health care system costs amount to £3 billion.