Morbidity and mortality of rheumatic diseases

Morbidity and mortality of rheumatic diseases

What is the impact of the rheumatic musculoskeletal diseases on the general population in terms of morbidity and mortality

Arthritis/back pain is the leading cause of chronic disability and the second leading cause of acute disability (behind respiratory illness) in the general population. An estimated 54 million US adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. Of these, 23 million (42%) have arthritis-attributable activity limitations, which equates into 9% of all US adults have at least one limitation. Of working-age adults (aged 18–64 years) with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, 31% have arthritis-attributable work limitations.

Due to lifestyle factors, the frequency of work limitations are more common in rural than in urban areas. Because these are prime working years, musculoskeletal conditions cause significant loss of work productivity. Overall, one-quarter (25%) of social security disability payments are related to rheumatologic disorders, thus making it the leading cause of social security disability payments.

Furthermore, 10% of all surgical procedures are for disabilities related to arthritis.

Morbidity and Mortality of Rheumatic/Musculoskeletal Diseases

Percent of Population

• Symptoms of arthritis—30%–40%

• Symptoms requiring medical therapy—20%–25%

• Disability due to arthritis—5%–10%

• Totally disabled from arthritis—0.5%

• Mortality from rheumatic disease—0.02%


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