Most illness and deaths in Australia are caused by chronic conditions. Chronic conditions can place a high burden on individuals, their families and carers, and the health system. It is estimated that 1 in 2 (50%) Australians have at least 1 of 8 selected common chronic conditions: arthritis, asthma, back pain and problems, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and mental health conditions.
Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions – the stats
1 in 3 (30%) Australians, nearly 6.9 million people have arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions:
> 3.7 million (16%) had back pain and problems (the most common musculoskeletal condition)
> 3.5 million (15%) had arthritis and
> 801,000 (3.5%) had osteoporosis
People with arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions often have other chronic and long-term conditions. This is referred to as ‘comorbidity’, where two or more health problems occur at the same time, as illustrated below.
For the full Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions report, visit: https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/3eac4d13-fc92-4875-9bd9-df6ffe7e21ee/aihw-aus-221-chapter-3-10.pdf.aspx
Source: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2018. Australia’s health 2018. Australia’s health series no. 16. AUS 221. Canberra: AIHW
The Bottom line – what can we learn from this?
Basically, it’s important to look after yourself. Not only does exercise, diet and mental health play an important role in managing your arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions, it can also help in preventing the development of other chronic conditions identified such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, and mental health conditions.
Need some help? Arthritis NSW is here to provide information and support, with resources that can help you manage your condition and live a healthier lifestyle.
> Arthritis Infoline: 1800 011 041 – call us to talk through your condition and get some health advice
> Rural Health Initiative – health education sessions in rural NSW, for information visit https://arthritisnsw.org.au/services/rural-health-initiative-2018-program/
> Info Sheet & Booklets: For an extensive range of information resources on a variety of conditions visit https://arthritisnsw.org.au/resources/
> Exercise Programs
- Warm Water Exercise: https://arthritisnsw.org.au/warm-water-exercise/
- Strength & Balance Class: https://arthritisnsw.org.au/services/strength-balance-exercise-program/
> Community Education Sessions: We can come to do a free talk to your community group, for information visit https://arthritisnsw.org.au/services/community-talks/
> Arthritis Matters Magazine: You can subscribe to our popular magazine, published three times per year, for regular articles on exercise, diet, managing arthritis, recipes, research and more. Information at https://arthritisnsw.org.au/arthritis-matters-magazine/
You can also feel free to call us on 02 9857 3300 for further information.