A Cost-benefit Analysis of Cataract Surgery based on the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing

Pub. Date
07 August, 2012

This paper uses the English Longitudinal Survey of Ageing to explore the self-reported effect of cataract operations on eye-sight. A non-parametric analysis shows clearly that most cataract patients report improved eye-sight after surgery and a parametric analysis provides further information: it shows that the beneficial effect is larger the worse was self-reported eye-sight preceding surgery so that those with very good or excellent eye-sight do not derive immediate benefit. Nevertheless, the long-run effect is suggested to be beneficial. Calibrating the results to existing studies of the effect of imperfect eye-sight on quality of life, the impact of cataract operations on quality-adjusted life-years is found to be similar to that established in previous studies and well above the costs of cataract operations in most circumstances.