Medium-term trends in the occurrence of rheumatic diseases in European countries. Results of an inquiry on statistical data

Scand J Rheumatol. 1986;15(2):206-18. doi: 10.3109/03009748609102090.


An inquiry based on statistical data concerning rheumatic diseases in seven European countries was performed. The data reported were based on the ICD (8th revision, 1965). The time of reference was the period 1968-78. The countries concerned (Czechoslovakia, Finland, France, the GDR, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom) reported data on the following 'measures of frequency': rates of hospital discharge; rates of spells of sickness and incapacity for work; incidences of disability pension due to rheumatic disorders. The main results are threefold: The social importance of rheumatic diseases has been increasing in several European countries in the late 1960s and 1970s, though the situation differs from one country to another. There is sufficient evidence to assume a true increase in the occurrence of clinical symptoms among persons afflicted with 'degenerative arthropathy', i.e. osteoarthrosis and vertebrogenic pain. The increasing social importance of 'degenerative arthropathy' ought to stimulate a process of rethinking of the traditionally established priorities in rheumatological research and practice.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Female
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany, East
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Poland
  • Rheumatic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • Workers' Compensation