Treating Glaucoma Early Lowers Economic Burden
Treatments that delay the progression of glaucoma may significantly reduce the economic health burden on people with the disease and on the U.S. health system, according to a new study by researchers at Duke University Eye Center and elsewhere. Their findings appear in the January 9, 2006, issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.
The team determined that patients with early-stage or suspected glaucoma use approximately $623 per year in health care resources, while patients with end-stage disease consume approximately $2,511. The cost of medication was responsible for one-third to half of the total direct cost to consumers.
"It is imperative that patients with glaucoma be well-monitored for changes in their disease," said Paul Lee, M.D., a glaucoma specialist at Duke University Eye Center and lead author on the study. "Our results prove what we've thought for a long time