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Notice to Readers: Publication of "The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions at the Start of the New Millennium"

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published "The Burden of Musculoskeletal Conditions at the Start of the New Millennium," the first global report on musculo-skeletal conditions. These >150 conditions usually are associated with pain and loss of function, are the most frequent cause of disability, and comprise a large and growing problem in both developing and developed countries. The report, the result of 3 years of work by an international group of scientific experts, focuses on the most common conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, spinal disorders (including low back pain), and severe limb trauma. The report documents levels of incidence and prevalence, characterizes the severity and course of each condition, and assesses economic impact, risk factors, impact on resource utilization, and relevant survey instruments. Data are presented by sex, age group, and world region.

The report was prepared in collaboration with the Bone and Joint Decade 2000--2010, an international initiative to improve health-related quality of life for persons affected by musculoskeletal conditions. This initiative seeks to raise awareness of the problem, empower patients to participate in their own care, promote cost-effective prevention and treatment, and advance research for improvements in care and understanding of the conditions. The U.S. affiliate, the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade, is working to achieve these goals in the United States.

The report is available from WHO at or by e-mail, Additional information about the Bone and Joint Decade is available at and at

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References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

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This page last reviewed 11/6/2003