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During a recent scientific group meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) said rheumatic diseases in developing nations have reached nearly the same proportions as in the industrialized world.
"While the diseases which kill take much of the public attention, musculoskeletal or rheumatic diseases are the major cause of morbidity throughout the world," said Gro Harlem Brundtland, MD, PhD. "These diseases have a substantial influence on health and quality of life, and they inflict an enormous cost on health systems."
Voelker R. Rheumatic Disease Burden. JAMA. 2000;283(14):1816. doi:10.1001/jama.283.14.1816-JWM00002-2-1