Lege Artis Medicinae

[Societal burden of blindness in Hungary]

NÉMETH János1, NAGYJÁNOSI László2, NAGYISTÓK Szilvia2, TOLNAYNÉ Csattos Márta3, SZABÓNÉ Berta Irén3, KINCSE Éva3, SZULYÁK Eleonóra3, BOÉR Ibolya4, HUNDZSA Gyula5, KALÓ Zoltán6, BERTA András7

OCTOBER 20, 2011

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2011;21(10)

[OBJECTIVES - Blindness represents a significant health and economic burden worldwide as well as in Hungary. The aim of this research was to estimate medical and nonmedical expenses related to blindness of elderly patients (>60 years) in Hungary so that the results can be used for further analyses. METHODS - The data required for determining the socioeconomic burden of disesase were derived from the published literature, statistical databases and estimations of relevant experts. We divided the social burden of elderly blindness into public and private medical and nonmedical costs. In addition to direct costs (social care and subvention, conduct recourse, medical costs) indirect costs and lost revenues (unemployment, support to activities of daily living) were also calculated. RESULTS - The social burden of elderly blind patients was estimated as 53.35 million USD in 2009, 0.03% of the Hungarian GDP (1 USD = 128.19 HUF in purchasing power parity exchange rate). Social care and subventions (20.04 million USD) and support to everyday activities (15.91 million USD) represented the largest proportion of expenses of the 6051 elderly blind people. The burden on the public sector was 55% of the total burden, which means that the population bears almost half of the burden. Social subventions represented two-third of the public burden. CONCLUSION - Blindness of the elderly means a significant economic burden, which is further exacerbated by the health loss - excess mortality, deterioration of quality of life - not evaluated in our study. Prevention and treatment of blindness in the elderly and social integration of blind people is an important task from a social as well as a health policy aspect.]


  1. Semmelweis Egyetem, ÁOK, Szemészeti Klinika, Budapest
  2. Syreon Kutató Intézet
  3. Vakok Állami Intézete, Vakok Elemi Rehabilitációs Csoportja, Budapest
  4. Novartis Hungária Kft.
  5. Retina Magyarország Egyesület
  6. ELTE Egészség-gazdaságtani Kutatóközpont, Syreon Kutató Intézet, Budapest
  7. Debreceni Egyetem, Orvos- és Egészségtudományi Centrum, Szemklinika



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