Social and Personal Costs of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases
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Social and Personal Costs of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

An Exploratory Survey

Musculoskeletal conditions are the most common cause of severe pain, physical disability and temporary absence from work amongst the advanced nations. They are estimated to consume up to 3% of gross domestic product in Western countries in an average year. Arthritis and rheumatic diseases are a large part of these conditions and they are thus a major burden on society's health and social care services. They are even more pronounced as sources of personal burdens and reduced participation in employment and society in general. Women are on the whole significantly more affected by rheumatic diseases than men. The present pilot report surveys these differing cost environments in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The work was carried out for the Nordic Rheuma Council (NRR). The author, Stefán Ólafsson, is a professor of sociology at the University of Iceland.

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Author(s):
Nordic Council of Ministers

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Musculoskeletal conditions (MSC) are the most common cause of severe pain and physical disability in advanced societies. They are therefore a major burden on health and social care, as well as frequently inflicting a heavy personal burden. Musculoskeletal conditions are a diverse group of health conditions. The most important ones as regards frequency are arthritis- related diseases, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis (including fragility fractures), low back pain and musculoskeletal injuries, often related to trying occupational conditions or participation in sports activities.