The prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints in a rural area in Iran: a WHO-ILAR COPCORD study (stage 1, rural study) in Iran
The objective of this study is to study the prevalence of musculoskeletal complaints and disorders in a rural area in Iran. Interviews were conducted in randomly selected subjects from five villages in Tuyserkan County, northwestern part of Iran. The three phases of stage 1 Community Oriented Program for Control of Rheumatic Diseases were done during the same day. A total of 614 houses was visited, 1,565 persons interviewed, and 1,192 persons examined. Musculoskeletal complaints during the past 7 days were detected in 66.6% (shoulder 22.7%, wrist 17.4%, hands and fingers 14.9%, hip 13.9%, knee 39.2%, ankle 19.6%, toes 12.7%, cervical spine 17.9%, and dorsolumbar spine 41.9%). Degenerative joint diseases were detected in 20.5% (cervical spondylosis 2.2%, knee osteoarthritis [OA] 19.3%, hand OA 2.7%, and hip OA 0.13). Low back pain was detected in 23.4%, soft tissue rheumatism in 2.2%, rheumatoid arthritis in 0.19%, ankylosing spondylitis in 1.1%, systemic lupus erythematosus in 0.06%, and fibromyalgia in 0.06%. The prevalence of rheumatic complaints in rural Iran is very high and needs attention in the curricula of medical schools and in the planning of rural health care by the government.