Estimating the burden and economic impact of trachomatous visual loss

Kevin D. Frick, Eva V. Basilion, Christy L. Hanson, M. Arantxa Colchero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To estimate the burden (disability-adjusted life years) and economic impact (potential productivity loss) associated with trachomatous visual loss. DATA: National survey data on trachomatous blindness or visual impairment since 1980. METHODS: The primary results summarized studies for countries with known or suspected blinding trachoma within World Development Report demographic regions. The number of cases was based on the year 2000 population. The years of life with disability calculation used the age-sex distribution of trachomatous visual loss. The one-year potential productivity loss calculation used the agricultural value added per worker in 1998. RESULTS: Countries with known or suspected blinding trachoma have 3.8 million cases of blindness and 5.3 million cases of low vision and a potential productivity loss of $2.9 billion (1995 US $). Prevalent cases of trachomatous visual loss yield 39 million lifetime DALYs. CONCLUSIONS: For resource allocation, the burden of disease can be compared with the expected costs of eradication of trachomatous blindness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-132
Number of pages12
JournalOphthalmic Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003


  • Blindness
  • Burden of disease
  • Low vision
  • Productivity loss
  • Trachoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Ophthalmology


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