An international comparison of the estimated effect of the aging of the population on the major cause of disablement, musculoskeletal disorders

E. M. Badley, M. Crotty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

69 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective. To illustrate quantitatively the effect of the aging of the population on the prevalence of chronic disorders by comparing the projected frequency of musculoskeletal (MSK) disorders in 3 comparatively 'young' countries, Australia, Canada, and the United States, and 3 comparatively 'old' countries, France, the United Kingdom, and Sweden. Methods. Age specific rates for MSK disability in Canada were applied to World Bank populalation estimates and projections to estimate prevalence rates and numbers of persons with MSK disability in the years 1985, 2000, 2010, and 2020. Results. The age structure of the populations affected baseline rates for MSK disability. Increases in both prevalence and numbers affected are expected for all countries between 1985 and 2020, up to a 34% increase in prevalence in Canada, and an 88% increase in numbers in Australia. Conclusion. The aging of the population is likely to result in a disproportionate increase in the member of people with chronic disabling disorders, which will be taking place against a background of a decreasing or static number of younger adults, with implications for meeting needs for health care and community support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1934-1940
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Volume22
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Arthritis disability
  • Back disability
  • International comparisons
  • Musculoskeletal disability
  • Population projections

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