Musculoskeletal conditions are a range of conditions that affect the bones, muscles and connective tissues. In this bulletin, the musculoskeletal conditions reported include osteoarthritis; rheumatoid arthritis; osteoporosis; back problems; gout and other inflammatory arthropathies (inflammation of one or more joints); and lupus and other systemic connective tissue disorders.
Arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions are not commonly recorded as the underlying cause of death; however, they are prevalent chronic diseases affecting 30% of Australians, and are more commonly reported as other causes that contributed to the death.
|1 in 20 deaths in 2013 were directly caused by, or contributed to by, musculoskeletal conditions (6,963 deaths).|
|Of any musculoskeletal condition, osteoporosis made the greatest contribution to mortality, contributing to 1,856 deaths-as an underlying cause for 167 deaths and as the associated cause for 1,689 deaths (making it the most common musculoskeletal condition recorded as an associated cause).|
|81 was the average age at death for which musculoskeletal conditions were recorded as the underlying cause, compared with 76 years for deaths due to all causes.|
|2 in 3 deaths with a musculoskeletal condition recorded as an underlying cause in 2013 were among females (806 deaths compared with 375 deaths among males).|
For the almost 148,000 deaths in 2013:
- musculoskeletal conditions were recorded as the underlying cause for 1,181 deaths (0.8% of all deaths) and as an associated cause for 5,782 deaths (3.9% of all deaths)
- the most common musculoskeletal condition group recorded as an underlying cause of death was lupus and other connective tissue disorders (245 deaths).
In 2011-2013, in cases where a musculoskeletal condition was recorded as an associated cause of death, the most common leading underlying cause of death was Coronary heart disease, followed by Dementia and Alzheimer disease, Cerebrovascular disease, Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and Diabetes. This pattern was similar to the overall leading causes of death, which were Coronary heart disease, Cerebrovascular disease, Dementia and Alzheimer disease, Lung cancer and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
The number of deaths where a musculoskeletal condition was recorded as either an underlying or an associated cause of death increased over time between 1997 and 2013, but this was consistent with changes in the age profile of the population.
- Musculoskeletal conditions and mortality
- Overall contribution of musculoskeletal conditions to mortality
- Musculoskeletal conditions as underlying causes of death
- Musculoskeletal conditions as associated causes of death
- Limitations and next steps
AIHW National Mortality Database
End matter: Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; References