What is the Bone and Joint Decade?                                 

The United Nations, the World Health Organization and more than 60 countries have endorsed the Bone and Joint Decade. This global initiative is intended to improve the lives of people with musculoskeletal disorders, such as arthritis, and to advance understanding and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders through prevention, education and research.

The global initiative launched by United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan urges governments around the world to start taking action to draw attention to the growing pervasiveness and impact of musculoskeletal diseases and to reduce the social and financial burdens to society.

What is the Arthritis Foundation's Role in the Bone and Joint Decade?

As a supporter of the Bone and Joint Decade, the Arthritis Foundation is part of a worldwide effort to:

raise awareness and educate the world on the increasing societal impact of musculoskeletal injuries and disordersempower patients to participate in decisions about their care and treatmentincrease global funding for prevention activities and treatment researchcontinually seek and promote cost-effective prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders

What is the United State's Involvement in the Bone and Joint Decade?

President Clinton issued a letter of support for this global initiative to raise awareness of musculoskeletal health, stimulate research and improve people's quality of life. On March 21, 2002, President George W. Bush proclaimed the National Bone and Joint Decade, recognizing the importance of promoting a healthy musculoskeletal structure for all people from childhood through adulthood. In addition, all 50 state governments have officially endorsed the Decade. The Bone and Joint Decade is officially represented in the U.S. by the United States Bone and Joint Initiative, of which the Foundation is a Founding Member.

Why Have Musculoskeletal Problems Been Selected as the Focus for the Decade?

The World Health Organization estimates that several hundred million people already suffer from bone and joint diseases, with dramatic increases expected due to a doubling in the number of people over 50 years of age by 2020.

In the United States musculoskeletal complaints (including arthritis) are the leading category of reported chronic impairment and also rank at the top in terms of visits to physicians - more than one in two American adults report a chronic musculoskeletal condition, of which more than 30% require medical care. . Estimated U.S. cost for treatment of all persons with a musculoskeletal disease diagnosis and indirect lost wages was $849 billion annually for the years 2002 to 2004, 7.7% of the gross domestic product.* There are more than 50 million people in the United States affected by arthritis and related conditions, and that number is expected to climb as baby boomers age.

Where Can I Find More Information About the Bone and Joint Decade?

Visit the U.S. Bone and Joint Decade Web site.



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