Challenges Associated with Estimating Utility in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Novel Regression Analysis to Capture the Bilateral Nature of the Disease

Robert Hodgson, Timothy Reason, David Trueman, Rose Wickstead*, Jeanette Kusel, Adam Jasilek, Lindsay Claxton, Matthew Taylor, Ruth Pulikottil-Jacob

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


INTRODUCTION: The estimation of utility values for the economic evaluation of therapies for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a particular challenge. Previous economic models in wet AMD have been criticized for failing to capture the bilateral nature of wet AMD by modelling visual acuity (VA) and utility values associated with the better-seeing eye only.

METHODS: Here we present a de novo regression analysis using generalized estimating equations (GEE) applied to a previous dataset of time trade-off (TTO)-derived utility values from a sample of the UK population that wore contact lenses to simulate visual deterioration in wet AMD. This analysis allows utility values to be estimated as a function of VA in both the better-seeing eye (BSE) and worse-seeing eye (WSE).

RESULTS: VAs in both the BSE and WSE were found to be statistically significant (p < 0.05) when regressed separately. When included without an interaction term, only the coefficient for VA in the BSE was significant (p = 0.04), but when an interaction term between VA in the BSE and WSE was included, only the constant term (mean TTO utility value) was significant, potentially a result of the collinearity between the VA of the two eyes. The lack of both formal model fit statistics from the GEE approach and theoretical knowledge to support the superiority of one model over another make it difficult to select the best model.

CONCLUSION: Limitations of this analysis arise from the potential influence of collinearity between the VA of both eyes, and the use of contact lenses to reflect VA states to obtain the original dataset. Whilst further research is required to elicit more accurate utility values for wet AMD, this novel regression analysis provides a possible source of utility values to allow future economic models to capture the quality of life impact of changes in VA in both eyes.

FUNDING: Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2360-2370
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in therapy
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s), 2017.


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Economic
  • Models, Statistical
  • Regression Analysis
  • United Kingdom
  • Wet Macular Degeneration/economics

Cite this