This study analyzed the impact of visual impairment on socioeconomic and physical health status and its heterogeneity by severity of visual impairment. We used nationally representative cohort data based on Korean national health insurance claims (2002-2013), which were extracted for 11,030 persons (2206 visually impaired, 8824 control). This was restructured as monthly data for each person (person-month). Multivariate and ordered logistic regressions were conducted, and the pre-impairment status between the visually impaired and non-visually impaired people was adjusted by difference-in-difference (DiD) estimation. Focusing on medical aid (a public healthcare service assistance program for people who cannot afford health insurance premiums), the DiD estimate showed that the likelihood of receiving aid was higher among visually impaired compared with non-impaired people. Mildly and severely visually impaired people were more likely to be medical aid recipients than their counterparts. The severely visually impaired group was more likely to be unemployed. The visually impaired group were less likely to have no comorbidity. Our findings show that the socioeconomic and physical health status of visually impaired people is more likely to deteriorate than that of their non-visually impaired counterparts following onset of impairment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes