Research has revealed the dearth of real-world evidence evaluating healthcare resource utilization and cost of glaucoma by disease severity in the United States. Using the more detailed ICD-10-CM disease coding system that came out in 2015, a recent study provided an updated account of the clinical and economic burden of glaucoma.
This retrospective analysis evaluated a large cohort of 177,352 US patients with open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT) over a one-year period (67.8% OAG). The updated estimates show highest eye-related costs for those with severe disease and disease progression. Severe OAG was associated with an increased risk of falls and fractures.
OAG patients had higher eye-related outpatient costs than OHT patients (median: $516 vs. $344, respectively). Patients with severe OAG had higher eye-related outpatient costs than moderate and mild OAG patients (median: $639 vs. $546 vs. $476, respectively). Severe OAG patients also had higher glaucoma-related pharmacy costs than both subsets of OAG patients (median: $493 vs. $244 vs. $139, respectively). In adjusted analyses, disease worsening was associated with at least two-fold higher annual eye-related outpatient costs.
“Compared with patients with OHT, severe OAG was associated with an increased risk of sequelae such as falls/factures, adding to the existing burden of disease management,” the researchers concluded. “Hence, therapies that delay the disease progression may provide clinical and economic benefits.”
Shih V, Parekh M, Multani JK, et al. Clinical and economic burden of glaucoma by disease severity: a US claims-based analysis. Ophthalmology. December 19, 2020. [Epub ahead of print].