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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 939315, 9 pages
Research Article

Costs and Quality of Life in Diabetic Macular Edema: Canadian Burden of Diabetic Macular Edema Observational Study (C-REALITY)

1Ivey Eye Institute, St. Joseph’s Health Centre, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, ON, Canada N6A 4V2
2OptumInsight, 5500 North Service Road, Suite 501, Burlington, ON, Canada L7L 6W6
3Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada, 385 Bouchard Boulevard, Dorval, QC, Canada H9S 1A9

Received 4 October 2013; Accepted 20 February 2014; Published 26 March 2014

Academic Editor: Tamer A. Macky

Copyright © 2014 John R. Gonder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. To characterize the economic and quality of life burden of diabetic macular edema (DME) in Canadian patients. Patients and Methods. 145 patients with DME were followed for 6 months with monthly telephone interviews and medical chart reviews at months 0, 3, and 6. Visual acuity in the worst-seeing eye was assessed at months 0 and 6. DME-related healthcare costs were determined over 6 months, and vision-related (National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire) and generic (EQ-5D) quality of life was assessed at months 0, 3, and 6. Results. Mean age of patients was 63.7 years: 52% were male and 72% had bilateral DME. At baseline, visual acuity was categorized as normal/mild loss for 63.4% of patients, moderate loss for 10.4%, and severe loss/nearly blind for 26.2%. Mean 6-month DME-related costs/patient were as follows: all patients ( ), $2,092; normal/mild loss ( ), $1,776; moderate loss ( ), $1,845; and severe loss/nearly blind ( ), $3,007. Composite scores for vision-related quality of life declined with increasing visual acuity loss; generic quality of life scores were highest for moderate loss and lowest for severe loss/nearly blind. Conclusions. DME-related costs in the Canadian healthcare system are substantial. Costs increased and vision-related quality of life declined with increasing visual acuity severity.