24 July 2019
John Cameron Buchan, Paul Norman, Darren Shickle, Andrew Cassels-Brown & Carrie MacEwen
The major ophthalmic diseases of public health concern in the UK are cataract, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy (DR) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Older age is a major risk factor for each of these conditions, and expansion of treatment options has increased the resource allocation necessary per case. Hence with the number of UK residents aged over 75 set to rise from 4.9 million (2010) to 8.9 million (2035), whilst the ratio of working-age to retirement-age populations drops from 3.16 (2010) to 2.87 (2035) there is a pressing national need for proactive service provision planning to avoid a serious and progressive under-provision which cannot be ethically dealt with by continued recruitment of medical staff from nations with greater human resource problems than the UK.
Planning expansion of services cannot occur without estimation of future demands. We attempted epidemiological modelling, therefore, to quantify the proportional disease burden growth between 2015 and 2035 in so far as that growth is driven by prevalence. In doing so, however, the constraints were as apparent as the possibilities.
Read the full paper on the Eye Website