Official statistics on musculoskeletal health announced
The Office for Health Improvement and Disparities published the new “Musculoskeletal health: trends, risk factors and disparities in England” on the morning of 29 November. This first release focuses on the prevalence of long-term musculoskeletal conditions across the population while further topics, such as the impact of musculoskeletal conditions on employment, will be added to future releases. Data included in this current release will be updated as new data becomes available.
The tool can be accessed here:
The key messages are:
- In 2018, 17.1% of adults reported having a long-term musculoskeletal condition, which has increased since 2015 (15.4%).
- The prevalence of long-term musculoskeletal conditions increased with age from 4.7% of those aged 16 to 24 up to 39.7% for those aged 85 or over.
- Women reported a higher prevalence of long-term musculoskeletal conditions (19.5%), arthritis and fibromyalgia (10.4%) and back, spine and neck pain (5.2%), than men (14.2%, 6.0% and 4.2% respectively).
- Analysis of survey data combined across 2012 to 2018 showed that prevalence of long-term musculoskeletal conditions varied by ethnicity. People in the Pakistani group (20.8%) reported a higher prevalence than the average for all groups combined (16.4%). Pakistani women (29.1%) were much more likely to report a long-term musculoskeletal condition than men (12.9%).
- Across all groups of long-term musculoskeletal conditions, those living in the most deprived areas reported a higher prevalence compared with those in the least deprived areas, and disparity between the most and least deprived areas was greatest for women.
- In 2017, 80.9% of people who reported a long-term musculoskeletal condition reported having chronic pain and 38.4% reported high interference chronic pain.
- Prevalence of long-term musculoskeletal conditions was higher among those living with obesity compared with the average. There was also a higher prevalence among those classified as underweight for both long term musculoskeletal conditions (24.6%) and back, spine and neck pain (10.2%).
- Across all groups of long-term musculoskeletal conditions and chronic pain, those who completed less than 30 minutes moderate or vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per week reported a higher prevalence compared with those who completed 30 minutes or more.
Read the findings in more detail and access the data tables by clicking on the link at the top of the page.