Volume 5 Supplement 3
Assessing the burden of musculoskeletal conditions: a joint World Health Organization–Bone and Joint Decade project
© BioMed Central Ltd 2003
Published: 12 September 2003
The Monitor Project of the Bone and Joint Decade (BJD) was developed to quantify the global burden of musculoskeletal conditions and to develop strategies for their prevention. Experts within the Monitor Project have been working with officers at the World Health Organization (WHO) to estimate morbidity and mortality associated with rheumatic conditions.
To determine the burden of major musculoskeletal conditions and limb trauma in terms of mortality and disability.
A Scientific Group meeting of experts in the areas of musculoskeletal conditions and limb trauma was held in January 2000 in Geneva in order to produce a WHO Technical Report on the impact of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), osteoporosis, major limb trauma, and spinal disorders (low back pain [LBP]). Data on incidence, prevalence and severity for the conditions were collected by world region, gender, and age groups. Estimates of the economic burden of each condition were also made, as were descriptions of relevant health domains and states. Epidemiological models were formed for RA, OA and LBP. Computer software was used to combine the data on incidence and/or prevalence with estimates of case fatality, case remission, and average duration to establish the number of years of life lost for each condition in agreement with mortality data. Estimates for the distribution of disabilities associated with treated and untreated forms of each condition were made to help determine the number of years living in disability for each condition.
Years living with disability for musculoskeletal conditions
Global Burden of Disease 1990
Global Burden of Disease 2000
Low back pain
The WHO/BJD collaboration has been successful in accumulating and publishing vital data describing the burden of musculoskeletal conditions and limb trauma.
- Symmons D, Mathers C, Pfleger B, World Health Organization: Global Burden of Osteoarthritis in the Year 2000. 2003, [http://www3.who.int/whosis/menu.cfm?path=evidence,burden,burden_gbd2000docs&language=english]Google Scholar
- Symmons D, Mathers C, Pfleger B, World Health Organization: The global burden of rheumatoid arthritis in the year 2000. 2003, [http://www3.who.int/whosis/menu.cfm?path=evidence,burden,burden_gbd2000docs&language=english]Google Scholar