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Global prevalence and economic and humanistic burden of astigmatism in cataract patients: a systematic literature review

Authors Anderson DF, Dhariwal M, Bouchet C, Keith MS

Received 20 July 2017

Accepted for publication 4 November 2017

Published 6 March 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 439—452

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S146829

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


David F Anderson,1 Mukesh Dhariwal,2 Christine Bouchet,3 Michael S Keith3

1University Hospital Southampton, NHS Foundation Trust, Southampton, UK; 2Novartis Ireland Ltd., Dublin, Ireland; 3Alcon Laboratories Inc., Fort Worth, TX, USA

Purpose: To systematically review the published evidence on the prevalence and economic and humanistic burden of astigmatism in cataract patients.
Materials and methods: For this systematic literature review, the Medline, PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases were searched from 1996 to September 2015 for available scientific literature that met the inclusion criteria. Studies published in the English language reporting prevalence and humanistic and economic burden in patients diagnosed with cataract and astigmatism were included.
Results: Of 3,649 papers reviewed, 31 studies from 32 publications met the inclusion criteria of this review. Preexisting astigmatism ≥1 D was present in up to 47% of cataract eyes. The cost burden of residual uncorrected astigmatism after cataract surgery was driven by the cost of spectacles, which was estimated to range from $2,151 to $3,440 in the US and $1,786 to $4,629 in Europe over a lifetime. In cataract patients, both preexisting and postoperative residual astigmatism were associated with poor vision-related patient satisfaction and quality of life, as well as higher spectacle burden. Astigmatism correction during cataract surgery appears to improve visual outcomes and results in overall lifetime cost savings compared to astigmatism correction with postoperative vision correction.
Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of preexisting astigmatism in cataract patients. Although published data are limited, both preoperative astigmatism and postoperative residual astigmatism affect visual function and vision-related quality of life, resulting in increased humanistic burden. Suboptimal correction of astigmatism during cataract surgery drives the continuous need for vision correction with spectacles in the postoperative period. Patients must bear the out-of-pocket expenses, since payers often do not reimburse the cost of spectacles. Greater access to astigmatism correction during cataract surgery could improve visual outcomes and quality of life in patients. More research is required to gain a better understanding of the disease burden of astigmatism in cataract patients.

Keywords: astigmatism, economic burden, humanistic burden, prevalence, cataract

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