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Assessment of the Australian Rheumatology Association Database for national population health monitoring: working paper

This working paper uses the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s recently developed assessment framework to assess the suitability of the Australian Rheumatology Association Database as a potential new data source for population health monitoring of inflammatory arthritis.

Estimating the prevalence of osteoporosis in Australia

This report presents information about the prevalence and impact of osteoporosis in Australians aged 50 and over. A broad range of data sources show that osteoporosis prevalence markedly increases with age and is more common in women than in men. Osteoporosis is one of several risk factors for minimal trauma fracture, with minimal trauma fracture of the hip being one of the most serious possible outcomes of osteoporosis. Although the rate of minimal trauma hip fracture for people aged 50 and over has decreased over the last ten years, the number of hip fractures continues to increase due to the increasing number of older adults in Australia.

Health-care expenditure on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions 2008-09

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions are substantial contributors to health-care expenditure in Australia. In 2008–09, estimated health-care expenditure allocated to these conditions totalled $5,690 million– the 4th most expensive disease group, accounting for 8.7% of total health-care expenditure allocated to disease groups.This report is the latest in a series on arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions expenditure. The key objectives of this report are to describe the distribution of health-care expenditure by health-care sector for the major musculoskeletal conditions: osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back problems and osteoporosis.

Data sources for monitoring arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions

This report assesses the potential for existing data sources to improve our understanding of arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions and highlights future opportunities for improving data for monitoring these conditions. A 4-step process is used to assess the utility of different data sources to provide relevant information on the 6 priority information areas required for monitoring these conditions. This methodological approach may also be useful for monitoring a range of other health conditions.

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions across the life stages

Arthritis and other musculoskeletal conditions affect an estimated 6.1 million Australians (approximately 28% of the total population) across all ages. Due to their diverse nature, there is considerable variation in the prevalence, treatment and management, and quality of life of people with these conditions across various life stages. This report describes these impacts in the following age groups: childhood (0–15), young adulthood (16–34), middle years (35–64), older Australians (65–79) and Australians aged 80 or over.

A snapshot of rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is the most severe form of arthritis, affecting around 2% of Australians. Even though management of the condition has improved markedly in recent years,  largely because of the availability of new medicines, people with rheumatoid arthritis are more likely than those without the condition to report severe pain, poor health status and psychological distress. The size of indirect costs associated with rheumatoid arthritis,  such as productivity losses and the cost for carers, are currently unknown.

A snapshot of juvenile arthritis

This snapshot brings together the latest information on juvenile arthritis, a relatively uncommon condition affecting less than 1% of Australian children. Limited national statistics make it difficult to evaluate the full extent of the effects of this condition on the children and those who care for them. However, available data show that Australian Government subsidies for new classes of treatment medications have continually increased since their introduction in 2002-03 and hospitalisation rates for girls with juvenile arthritis have increased in the 10 years to 2009-10. The reasons for this latter increase are not yet clear.

Use of antiresorptive agents for osteoporosis management

There is no cure for osteoporosis but antiresorptive drugs can reduce further bone loss and slow down disease progression. This report provide information on both the individual and community use of antiresorptive drugs for managing osteoporosis as well as trends in the supply of and expenditure for these medications.

Population differences in health-care use for arthritis and osteoporosis in Australia

This report presents differences in health-care use for osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis between population groups. The report suggests that, among those with osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, females are more likely to take actions to manage their condition and have a lower rate of joint replacement than males. The report also suggests that complimentary medicines that may slow the progression of these conditions are used at a lower rate in the lowest socioeconomic group compared to the highest socioeconomic group.

A snapshot of osteoporosis in Australia 2011

This snapshot brings together the latest data on osteoporosis in Australia. The purpose of the snapshot is to provide the latest statistical information in a timely and efficient manner.

The use of disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs for the management of rheumatoid arthritis

Disease and modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are now considered first-line treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). When initiated early, they have been shown to alter the disease course and reduce joint erosion, reducing or preventing disability and improving quality of life.

Use of health services for arthritis and osteoporosis

There is considerable variation in the type and extent of health services used and actions taken to manage the three conditions. While the management of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis is primarily focused on reducing pain and slowing down disease progression, the focus in the case of osteoporosis is largely on containing its role as a risk factor for fractures and other associated complications.

A snapshot of arthritis in Australia 2010

This snapshot brings together the latest data on arthritis in Australia. The purpose of the snapshot is to provide the latest statistical information in a timely and efficient manner.

When musculoskeletal conditions and mental disorders occur together

The disability and chronic pain due to many musculoskeletal conditions may underlie the development or exacerbation of a variety of mental disorders. The report maps the extent of their relationship in the Australian population.

Primary carers of people with arthritis and osteoporosis

Family members provide significant assistance to people with disability associated with arthritis and osteoporosis, to help them cope with their restrictions and continue independent living.The demand of caring can also have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of carers themselves. Primary carers of people with arthritis and osteoporosis brings together data to describe the role of caring. The information provided in this report should be useful to the broader community, policy makers and anyone with an interest in carers and caring issues.

Medication use for arthritis and osteoporosis

Medicines are central to managing arthritis and osteoporosis, to improve musculoskeletal functions, slow disease progression and reduce pain and inflammation. Pharmaceutical innovations over the last several years have improved the efficacy and diversity of medicines available to manage these conditions. However, the adoption of new and more effective drugs is often costly. This report provides information on what medicines Australians areusing to manage their musculoskeletal problems, how much do these medicines cost them and trends in the prescription of newer medicines.

Health expenditure for arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, 2004-05

Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions affect more than 6 million Australians. In 2004-05, direct health expenditure on these conditions amounted to $4.0 billion or 7.5% of total allocated health expenditure in Australia. Osteoarthritis alone accounted for nearly one-third of the expenditure, mostly due to hospital costs associated with knee and hip replacements. Other major sources of expenditure included prescription pharmaceuticals for osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. This report provides detailed information on health expenditure on these diseases and conditions using estimates derived from the AIHW Disease expenditure database, supported by information from various other data sources.

A picture of rheumatoid arthritis in Australia

Rheumatoid arthritis is an often serious joint disease that affects around 400,000 Australians and is the second most common type of arthritis, after osteoarthritis. The disease is more common among females and in older age groups. The underlying cause of rheumatoid arthritis is not well understood but genetic factors play a key role (smoking also increases the risk of developing the disease). The disease reduces a person's capacity to work, with only 31% of those affected in fulltime employment in 2004-05 compared with 53% of the general population. This report provides information on other symptoms, effects and treatments, as well as looking at prevention.

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.

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