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4364.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: First Results, 2011-12  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 29/10/2012  First Issue
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Contents >> Long-term health conditions >> Arthritis and Osteoporosis


ARTHRITIS AND OSTEOPOROSIS

Musculoskeletal conditions, of which arthritis and osteoporosis are the most common, are one of the major causes of chronic pain and disability in Australia.

Arthritis

Arthritis is a musculoskeletal condition in which a person's joints become inflamed, which may result in pain, stiffness, disability and deformity. The symptoms often have a significant impact on everyday life.

In 2011-12, 14.8% of Australians (or around 3.3 million people) had arthritis, with prevalence higher amongst women than men (17.7% compared with 11.8%).

Of persons with arthritis, more than half (55.9%) had osteoarthritis, 13.6% had rheumatoid arthritis, and 37.3% had an unspecified type of arthritis. Note that as it is possible to have more than one type of arthritis, proportions add to more than 100%.

The prevalence of arthritis increased with age, from less than 1% of people aged under 25 years to 52.1% of people aged 75 years and over. Women aged 45 years and over were considerably more likely to have arthritis than men. In particular, at ages 75 years and over, 59.9% of women had arthritis compared with 42.3% of men.

Graph Image for Proportion of persons with arthritis, 2011-12


Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition of the musculoskeletal system in which a person's bones become fragile and brittle, leading to an increased risk of fractures. Fractures can lead to chronic pain, disability and loss of independence.

In 2011-12, 3.3% of Australians (or around 726,000 people) had osteoporosis. Over the last decade, the proportion of Australians with osteoporosis has increased (up from 1.6% in 2001) but has remained stable since 2007-08.

Osteoporosis was more common amongst women than men, affecting more than twice the proportion of females (5.3% compared with 1.2% of males).

Similar to arthritis, osteoporosis is more common at older ages, with over 1 in 5 women (22.8%) over the age of 65 years having osteoporosis, compared with around 1 in 20 men (5%).

Graph Image for Proportion of persons with osteoporosis, 2011-12



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