A major study which analysed the findings of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 has been published this week in the Lancet, a leading medical journal. In this study of the impact of all diseases worldwide, musculoskeletal conditions were found to have the third greatest impact on the overall health of the population.
The study went on to look at individual countries and found that in the UK musculoskeletal conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis, account for 31.3% of the total burden of disability. This makes them the single biggest cause of the burden of disability in the UK. They are also on the increase, as opposed to the burden of life-threatening diseases. Worryingly the study also found that, when compared with developed countries with similar economies, the UK ranks only 12 out of 19.
The study therefore provides evidence that musculoskeletal conditions are an enormous health problem in the UK, and worldwide, and must be given greater priority and similar resources to other major conditions like cancer and cardiovascular disease. NASS will continue to campaign to promote this objective. The Arthritis and Musculoskeletal Alliance (ARMA) has issued a statement on this report which you can read here.
NASS is continuing to campaign with GPs and other health professionals to raise awareness of the best practice for the care of people with ankylosing spondylitis.