Reports

Featured reports

Impacts of chronic back problems 

Chronic back problems are common conditions in Australia (16% of the total population) and cause of disability (28% of the total population with disability) in Australia. Chronic back problems can have a strong negative effect on a person’s quality of life, affecting their ability to participate in daily activities, work, family and social activities. This bulletin provides the latest detailed information on the impacts (in terms of quality of life and disability) of chronic back problems in Australia.

The burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia: a detailed analysis of the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 

This report presents findings from the Australian Burden of Disease Study 2011 on the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia. Musculoskeletal conditions were the fourth leading contributor to total burden of disease in Australia, with back pain and problems, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis being the greatest contributors to the musculoskeletal burden. The burden due to musculoskeletal conditions generally decreased over time, varied by condition severity and by population group, and some of the burden was attributed to modifiable risk factors such as overweight and obesity.

Back problems 

Back problems are a range of conditions related to the bones, joints, connective tissue, muscles and nerves of the back. Back problems are a significant cause of disability and lost productivity.

Gout 

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops when an excess of uric acid in the blood leads to deposits of uric acid crystals in one or more joints, causing inflammation.

Juvenile arthritis 

Juvenile arthritis includes several different kinds of arthritis occurring in children, causing significant pain, disability and restrictions in school and other activities. Juvenile arthritis affects less than 1% of children and is more common in girls than boys.

Osteoarthritis 

Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that mostly affects the hands, spine and joints such as hips, knees and ankles, and usually gets worse over time. It is the predominant condition leading to knee and hip replacement surgery in Australia.

Osteoporosis 

Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin, weak and fragile, such that even a minor bump or accident can cause a broken bone (minimal trauma fracture). Osteopenia is a condition when bone mineral density is lower than normal but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Rheumatoid arthritis can affect anyone at any age, and may cause significant pain and disability.

Musculoskeletal conditions as underlying and associated causes of death 2013 

Musculoskeletal conditions are responsible for a substantial proportion of the non-fatal burden of disease in Australia. This bulletin describes the contribution of musculoskeletal conditions to mortality. Although musculoskeletal conditions were not among the leading underlying causes of death, this bulletin shows that these conditions were likely to have contributed to about 1 in 20 deaths in Australia in 2013.

Arthritis & its comorbidities 

People with arthritis often have other chronic diseases and long-term conditions. These are referred to as ‘comorbidities’—two or more health problems occurring concurrently. In this context, ‘arthritis’ includes osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other arthritic conditions. The other chronic conditions selected for this analysis occur frequently in the population.