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The Health & Economic Disparities of Congenital Musculoskeletal Disease Worldwide: An Analysis of 25 Years (1992-2017)

  • Mody, Kush S.1, 2
  • Henstenburg, Jeffrey3
  • Herman, Martin J.4
  • 1 Columbia Business School, New York, NY, USA
  • 2 Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 3 Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  • 4 St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Published Article
Global Pediatric Health
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Feb 25, 2021
DOI: 10.1177/2333794X21994998
PMID: 33718527
PMCID: PMC7917875
PubMed Central
  • Original Research Article


Background: Large disparities exist in congenital musculoskeletal disease burden worldwide. The purpose of this study is to examine and quantify the health and economic disparities of congenital musculoskeletal disease by country income level from 1992 to 2017. Methods : The Global Burden of Disease database was queried for information on disease burden attributed to “congenital musculoskeletal and limb anomalies” from 1992 to 2017. Gross national income per capita was extracted from the World Bank website. Nonparametric Kruskal–Wallis tests were used to compare morbidity and mortality across years and income levels. The number of avertable DALYs was converted to an economic disparity using the human-capital and value of a statistical life approach. Results : From 1992 to 2017, a significant decrease in deaths/100 000 was observed only in upper-middle and high income countries. Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe were disproportionately affected. If the burden of disease in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs) was equivalent to that in high income countries (HICs), 10% of all DALYs and 70% of all deaths attributable to congenital musculoskeletal disease in LMICs could be averted. This equates to an economic disparity of about $2 billion to $3 billion (in 2020 $USD). Conclusion : Considerable inequity exists in the burden of congenital musculoskeletal disease worldwide and there has been no change over the last 25 years in total disease burden and geographical distribution. By reducing the disease burden in LMICs to rates found in HICs, a large proportion of the health and economic consequences could be averted.

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