Socioeconomic cost of macular degeneration in New Zealand
Assessing the impact of visual impairment
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of visual impairment in people over the age of 50 years in developed countries, affecting around 1.1% of people over 45 years of age. In New Zealand, it is the most common cause of blindness contributing to 50% of all blindness. AMD is strongly associated with ageing, and as such, the prevalence of AMD has been projected to increase substantially over the next 20 years.
This report considers the socioeconomic impact of visual impairment resulting from late AMD and discusses the cost effectiveness of treatments and awareness raising efforts. The report also outlines the prevalence of early AMD to highlight the total population at risk of developing more advanced AMD. The total cost of vision loss from AMD was estimated to be $391 million in New Zealand in 2016.