The prevalence of rheumatic diseases in the elderly in developed countries and its evolution over time

Mariller, Marjorie ; Santos-Eggimann, Brigitte

In: Sozial- und Präventivmedizin/Social and Preventive Medicine, 2005, vol. 50, no. 1, p. 45-51

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    Summary
    Summary.: Objectives: This study aims at evaluating the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in the elderly and its evolution over time. Methods: We present a systematic international literature review of the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in the elderly and its evolution over time. Results: The estimated current prevalence of rheumatic diseases among people aged 65 and more varies between 41% and 53%, and is similar to estimated prevalence rates in studies performed before 1990 (35-55%). The prevalence is high and seems to increase rapidly with age. Furthermore, women suffer more frequently from rheumatic diseases than men. Conclusion: The selected studies included a large range of methods, making comparisons difficult. However, estimates of the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in the elderly appear to be homogeneous in different countries and stable since 1980