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After adjusting for age, the prevalence of arthritis has decreased since 1995, from 15.7% of the population to 14.5% in 2007-08. At the same time, osteoporosis has doubled in prevalence from 1.5% of the population to 3.1% (graph 2.2).
AGE AND SEX
The prevalence of both arthritis and osteoporosis increases with age. Fewer than 1% of people aged less than 25 years reported having arthritis, compared with 48% of people aged 65 years or over (graph 2.3).
Similarly, osteoporosis was most common in older age groups, with less than 1% of people aged less than 25 years having osteoporosis, compared with 16% of people aged 65 years or over (graph 2.4).
The prevalence of arthritis was higher for females than males. Overall, arthritis affected 17.5% of females in Australia in 2007-08, compared with 12.9% of males. Osteoarthritis affected 9.7% of females and only 5.9% of males, while rheumatoid arthritis affected 2.6% of females and 1.6% of males.
Similarly, 5.5% of females had osteoporosis in 2007-08, compared with only 1.2% of males (graph 2.5). The reasons for the differences in prevalence rates between men and women is not known (AIHW 2008).
ABORIGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PEOPLES
In 2004-05, the prevalence of arthritis amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples was 9.1% (8.0% of males and 10.2% of females). After adjusting for age differences between the two populations, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples were 1.2 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have arthritis in 2004-05.
In 2004-05, 3.4% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had osteoarthritis (2.7% of males and 4.1% of females).
Around 1.6% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had rheumatoid arthritis in 2004-05 (1.0% of males, 2.2% of females).
In 2004-05, 0.9% of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had osteoporosis, compared with 3.0% of non-Indigenous Australians. However, after adjusting for age, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are 0.7 times as likely as non-Indigenous people to have osteoporosis. The rate of osteoporosis among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples increased in 2004-05, up from 0.3% in 2001 (NATSIHS 2004-05).
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