Increased healthcare costs were associated with musculoskeletal disorders compared to other disease states, according to a new study presented at the European League Against Rheumatism Annual Congress (EULAR 2014).

Compared to other singly occurring condition, costs were almost 50% higher for patients with a musculoskeletal condition. A difference of 36% in costs was seen in patients having two conditions, with one being musculoskeletal.

Researchers conducted a Dutch cross-sectional study (n=8904) to assess how the number of diseases per individual affected their total health care cost, and which combinations of diseases had the greater impact. Total costs were calculated for a 3-month period using reference prices from the Dutch manual for pharmacoeconomic health care evaluations 2010.

RELATED: Frailty Index Predicts Adverse Outcomes in Geriatric Trauma

Data showed multi-morbidity (>1 disease diagnosis) was present in almost 20% of cases (n=1722) with 20% of (n=1766) reporting to have a musculoskeletal condition. Costs sharply increased as the number of diseases an individual had increased. However, a musculoskeletal condition had a larger effect on the total cost than any other condition. If 1 of the 2 diseases was a musculoskeletal condition, the costs were 3 times higher than for a healthy person.

For more information visit