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Arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia 2008

Arthritis and osteoporosis are among the world's leading causes of pain and disability, and impose a substantial burden on the Australian community. These highly prevalent conditions are major reasons for the use of health and allied health services, community assistance programs, and formal and informal care. Under the National Health Priority Area of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, national action is focused on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis and osteoporosis. This report brings together data and information from a wide variety of sources to provide a picture of arthritis and ostoeporosis in Australia, and highlight some of the main issues relating to these conditions. The report should be useful to policy makers, the broader community, and anyone with an interest in arthritis and osteoporosis.

Juvenile arthritis in Australia

Juvenile arthritis is one of the common chronic diseases affecting Australian children. The disease contributes significantly to ill health, affecting growth and skeletal maturity of children. The life course of the disease entails a variety of complications, activity limitations and need for regular support and care. This report brings together the latest data to highlight the impact of juvenile arthritis in Australia. It includes information on the prevalence, associated disability and management of the disease. The information should be useful to the broader community, policy makers and anyone with an interest in the health of children.

A picture of osteoporosis in Australia

Osteoporosis is a silent condition that occurs in both men and women. The bones become fragile and brittle, and bone strength is greatly reduced, so that fractures can occur after only minimal trauma. Fractures occur most commonly in the hip, spine and wrist, and can lead to long-lasting pain and disability that affects quality of life and independence. The good news is that osteoporosis is largely preventable. This booklet is aimed at anyone with an interest in osteoporosis. It includes information on the causes, management and prevention of the disease, and brings together the latest data about its impact in Australia.

A picture of osteoarthritis in Australia

Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic joint disease, causing large amounts of disability and pain in the Australian community. Osteoarthritis impacts on the mental health and quality of life of people with the disease. There are a number of risk factors for osteoarthritis including excess weight or obesity, joint injury, repetitive kneeling or squatting and repetitive heavy lifting. Osteoarthritis can be effectively managed with medication, exercise and in some cases surgery. This report brings together the latest data to highlight the impact of osteoarthritis in Australia. The report includes information on the causes, treatment and management of the disease. The information included in the report should be useful to the broader community, policy makers and anyone with an interest in osteoarthritis.

Impairments and disability associated with arthritis and osteoporosis

Arthritis and osteoporosis are major sources of pain, activity limitations and functional restrictions, in particular among older Australians. At an individual level and for their carers, the experience of these diseases and conditions is catastrophic overshadowing daily activities. Regional musculoskeletal limitations not only threaten autonomy but also impede the work capacity. This report from the AIHW National Centre for Monitoring Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions outlines both the individual and societal impact of arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia.

Data sources for monitoring arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions

This report is a stock take of data sources available for monitoring of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions. Data sources are evaluated to identify limitations, potential areas of improvement and usefulness for effective national monitoring. This report is useful to policy makers, researchers, and community groups that are looking to future enhance the available data sources relating to arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions.

Chronic diseases and associated risk factors in Australia, 2006

'Chronic diseases and associated risk factors in Australia 2006' presents updated statistics on chronic diseases and their associated risk factors in Australia. Chronic diseases are conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and arthritis (to name a few), that tend to be long-lasting and persistent in their symptoms or development. More than 15 million Australians are directly affected by at least one chronic disease. This report builds on the AIHW's 2001 report, and focuses on patterns of disease across the age groups, the prevalence of risk factors and their trends, the effects of chronic diseases on health services in Australia, and the differences in chronic diseases and their risk factors across geographical areas, socioeconomic status and Indigenous status. This report is a vital resource for policy makers, researchers and others interested in chronic diseases and their associated risk factors.

National indicators for monitoring osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis are identified as the focus of the Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Conditions National Health Priority Area. This report describes the development of key indicators for monitoring these three conditions in Australia, and provides operational definitions for their use. Monitoring and reporting against these indicators over time will inform decision making and assist the formulation and evaluation of public health strategies for arthritis and osteoporosis.

Health expenditure for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in Australia, 2000-01

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions may not be a large cause of mortality but are significant contributors to morbidity and disability in Australia. They are highly prevalent, particularly among those aged 65 or over. Their treatment and management have considerable costs and the health care required is different from other major health conditions. In Australia, the direct health expenditure for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions exceeded $4.6b in 2000-01, ranking third below cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders. Much of the expenditure was on health care in community settings. Expenditures on the use of pharmaceuticals and procedures are also on the rise. This bulletin details these expenditures, with emphasis on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain and other rheumatic disorders. Various health sectors in which the monies are spent are also described.

General practice activity in Australia 2004-05

This publication is the 18th in the General Practice Series produced by the Australian General Practice Statistics and Classification Centre, a Collaborating Unit of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the University of Sydney. It reports the results of the seventh year of the BEACH program, April 2004 to March 2005. Data reported by 953 general practitioners on 95,300 GP-patient encounters are used to describe aspects of general practice in Australia: the general practitioners and their patients; the problems managed and the treatments provided. Information is also reported on body weight to height ratio, smoking status and alcohol use of a subsample of patients. Changes that have occurred since 1998-99 are investigated. Aspects of the management of psychological problems, asthma, arthritis, lipid disorders and injuries are examined in greater detail. Data for each of the last five years of BEACH are summarised in the appendices to this report.

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in Australia 2005: with a focus on osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are large contributors to illness, pain and disability in Australia. Highly prevalent, they place a significant burden on the community, both economic and personal, including the use of hospital and primary care services, disruptions to daily life and lost productivity through disability. More than 6.1 million Australians are reported to have arthritis or a musculoskeletal condition. Most commonly reported conditions are back pain and various forms of arthritis. Almost 1.2 million of these are reported to have disability associated with their condition. In view of their large disease burden-the number of people affected and the high disability impact-Australian Health ministers declared arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions were declared a National Health Priority Area (NHPA) in July 2002.

Chronic diseases and associated risk factors in Australia, 2001

Chronic diseases and associated risk factors in Australia, 2001 provides statistical overviews of a number of long-lasting conditions, disorders and illnesses that comprise the quality of life of a large number of Australians. In particular, the report examines the burden of disease associated with a set of chronic diseases in the context of their long course through life, persistent effects and associated disability. Heart problems, a variety of cancers, several lung diseases, diabetes, arthritis, depression and dental caries are some of the chronic disease and conditions covered. Risk factors leading to or contributing to these factors such as high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and excess weight are also examined.

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