The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States
According to statistics, musculoskeletal diseases are considered to be the most disabling and the costliest of all conditions experienced by Americans. These types of diseases are so prevalent that they are now considered to be the leading cause of physical-based disability within the United States.
In 2002, the President – George W. Bush – officially designated the years of 2002 to 2011 as “United States Bone and Joint Decade”; however, at the conclusion of that decade, medical professionals knew that much more had to be done. As a result, the “United States Bone and Joint Initiative” (USBJI) was officially created as part of the Global Alliance for Musculoskeletal Health.
The USBJI discovered that musculoskeletal diseases not only posed an exceptionally high burden on the United States, but that the figures, worldwide, were also staggering. 1.7 billion people throughout the world suffer from these diseases and these diseases are considered to be the second leading cause of physical disability.
In this informative article, we will expound on the tremendous burden that musculoskeletal diseases have on those within the United States.
The Purpose of the USBJI
The USBJI strives to improve the quality of life of those that have been diagnosed with and suffer from musculoskeletal diseases. It also works to acquire an advanced level of understanding for the ways in which these diseases are treated. This is made possible through extensive research, prevention, and engaging in the process of education about the diseases.
Ultimately, the cornerstone of this organization is the burden of these diseases and the detrimental impact that these conditions have on those that suffer from them, their loved ones, and society – as a whole. What we mean by “burden” in this instance is the direct costs, expenses, and amount/type of resources needed for the purpose and intent of preventing musculoskeletal diseases, caring for those that suffer from musculoskeletal diseases, and completely helping sufferers become cured from the diseases.
The direct costs of the burden of these types of diseases is immense. They include the costs of hospital services (inpatient, emergency, and outpatient), physician services, practitioner (specialty) services, home health care, the prescription-based medications, nursing home costs, prepayments, administration costs, and costs from non-health sectors.
Additionally, there is the costs that are related to mortality and morbidity. These diseases detrimentally impact at least one out of every two people in the country that are aged 18 and over. At least three out of every four people over the age of 65 suffer from musculoskeletal diseases. These types of diseases are more common than circulatory diseases and diseases that detrimentally impact the respiratory system.
As the population continues to age, the prevalence of these diseases will continue to become an even greater burden. Millions upon millions of people are suffering from musculoskeletal diseases. In turn, the expenses far exceed millions and millions of dollars.