Global Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases on the Rise

Significant increases seen worldwide, but burden highest in Europe


FRIDAY, May 17, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The burden of musculoskeletal (MSK) diseases increased significantly worldwide between 2000 and 2015, according to a study published in the June issue of Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Eden Sebbag, from Hôpitaux Universitaires de Strasbourg in France, and colleagues used data from the World Health Organization Global Health Estimates Database to assess the worldwide burden of MSK diseases based on 23 WHO categories of diseases and patients from 183 countries (2000 to 2015).

The researchers found that the total number of MSK disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) increased significantly from 80,225,634.6 in 2000 to 107,885,832.6 in 2015 (P < 0.001), with the total number of MSK years lived with disability (YLDs) increasing from 77,377,709.4 to 103,817,908.4 (P = 0.0008). These estimates made MSK diseases the second leading cause of YLDs worldwide. Years of life lost (YLLs) due to MSK diseases also increased, from 2,847,925.2 to 4,067,924.2 (P = 0.03). The median proportion of DALYs attributed to MSK diseases in 2015 was 6.66 percent in Europe versus 4.66 percent in the Americas (P < 0.0001 versus Europe), 4.17 percent in Asia (P < 0.0001), and 1.33 percent in Africa (P < 0.0001). There was a significant correlation between the proportion of MSK DALYs and the gross domestic product per capita in 2015 (P < 0.0001).

"These results are crucial to health professionals and policy makers to implement future health plan adjustments for MSK diseases," the authors write.

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