Background: Musculoskeletal disorders include more than 150 different conditions affecting joints, muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons, and the spine. To capture all health loss from death and disability due to musculoskeletal disorders, the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study (GBD) includes a residual musculoskeletal category for conditions other than osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout, low back pain, and neck pain. This category is called other musculoskeletal disorders and includes, for example, systemic lupus erythematosus and spondylopathies. We provide updated estimates of the prevalence, mortality, and disability attributable to other musculoskeletal disorders and forecasted prevalence to 2050. Methods: Prevalence of other musculoskeletal disorders was estimated in 204 countries and territories from 1990 to 2020 using data from 68 sources across 23 countries from which subtraction of cases of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, low back pain, neck pain, and gout from the total number of cases of musculoskeletal disorders was possible. Data were analysed with Bayesian meta-regression models to estimate prevalence by year, age, sex, and location. Years lived with disability (YLDs) were estimated from prevalence and disability weights. Mortality attributed to other musculoskeletal disorders was estimated using vital registration data. Prevalence was forecast to 2050 by regressing prevalence estimates from 1990 to 2020 with Socio-demographic Index as a predictor, then multiplying by population forecasts. Findings: Globally, 494 million (95% uncertainty interval 431–564) people had other musculoskeletal disorders in 2020, an increase of 123·4% (116·9–129·3) in total cases from 221 million (192–253) in 1990. Cases of other musculoskeletal disorders are projected to increase by 115% (107–124) from 2020 to 2050, to an estimated 1060 million (95% UI 964–1170) prevalent cases in 2050; most regions were projected to have at least a 50% increase in cases between 2020 and 2050. The global age-standardised prevalence of other musculoskeletal disorders was 47·4% (44·9–49·4) higher in females than in males and increased with age to a peak at 65–69 years in male and female sexes. In 2020, other musculoskeletal disorders was the sixth ranked cause of YLDs globally (42·7 million [29·4–60·0]) and was associated with 83 100 deaths (73 600–91 600). Interpretation: Other musculoskeletal disorders were responsible for a large number of global YLDs in 2020. Until individual conditions and risk factors are more explicitly quantified, policy responses to this burden remain a challenge. Temporal trends and geographical differences in estimates of non-fatal disease burden should not be overinterpreted as they are based on sparse, low-quality data. Funding: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)e670-e682
JournalThe Lancet Rheumatology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023


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