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Musculoskeletal conditions are the second greatest cause of disability globally according to a report by international experts, just published in The Lancet. In the first comprehensive study of the worldwide impact of all diseases, musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are revealed to have the fourth greatest impact on the overall health of the world population. This burden has increased by 45% over the last 20 years and will continue to do so unless action is taken.
Across the world, health policy has ignored diseases which affect the quality of lives of people living with them, and focused instead on infectious diseases with high mortality. But this report demonstrates that arthritis and other MSK diseases needs to be given the same priority for resources as other major conditions, like cancer.
A spokesperson for Arthritis Care said, “We welcome the Global Burden of Disease report. We know from Arthritis Care’s own OANation 2012 report that the impact of osteoarthritis on work is huge. There are 8.5 million people in the UK with osteoarthritis today, and 2.2 million of them are of working age. 86 % have had their working lives affected. These numbers serve to underline the urgent need to prioritise helping people in the UK with arthritis through both services offered and helping people to manage their condition.”
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