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December 6, 2018

Reducing Disparities in Pediatric Vision Care Utilization by Strategically Addressing Access

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Health Policy at Meharry Medical College, Nashville, Tennessee
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, Loma Linda, California
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2019;137(2):127-128. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2018.5939

Eliminating preventable blindness in children makes sense on many levels. At the very least, it makes financial sense for society. Wittenborn et al1 estimated the 2012 total US economic burden of pediatric eye disorders to be $5.9 billion per year and the total monetary value of the loss of pediatric well-being from vision impairment and blindness in the United States to be $4.1 billion per year. These estimates do not include ongoing costs beyond childhood, such as dollars spent for care and accommodations or dollars lost through diminished visual utility. Above all, it is impossible to quantify what the lives of affected individuals could have been if not for their impaired vision.

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