Les maladies rhumatismales sont fréquemment observées chez les personnes âgées et ont un impact considérable sur la qualité de vie des personnes en souffrant. Peu d'études suisses sur la situation épidémiologique et sur l'impact de ce type de maladies sur la consommation des services de santé existent. Cette thèse a pour but d'étudier les connaissances actuelles à partir de la littérature suisse et étrangère et d'établir un bilan en Suisse au moyen d'une enquête de population effectuée en 1997. Une revue systématique de littérature a été effectuée. En dépit d'une grande variété de
Rheumatic diseases are frequently observed in elderly people and have an important impact on tlieir life qurlity. There are fe1.v Swiss stuciies on the epiciemio!ogica! situttien and on the impact of such diseases on the use of health services. This thesis aims at studying the current knowledge based on Swiss and international literature and at establishing the situation in Switzerland from a population survey conducted in 1997. A systeinatic literature review lias been carried out. Despite a large range of methods making a comparisoii diffcult, the prevalence of rheumatic diseases seems to be homogeneous in different countries and stable. especially since 1980. It is high and increases rapidly with age. Furthermore, \niorneil suffer more frequently thaii men. Our review shows that the use of ambulatory care linked to rheumatic diseases is important. On the contrary, the impact of such diseases on hospitalization is less clearly established. New generations seem to consult more. Rheumatic diseases are also at the origin of a strong consumptioii of non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs \vitIl potential severe consequences. Despite its effectiveness and efficiency, arthroplasty is underused. Our analysis is based 011 a survey of Swiss permanent residents aged 15 or more in 1997. Based on Our analysis, the prevalence of rheumatic diseases in Switzerland is 41 % for elderly people (48 96 for women and 31 % for men). Theses prevalences are smaller than those found in the literature because of our relatively strict definition of rheumatic diseases. The latter diseases increase of about 50 o/o the expected number of consultations (chiropractor included or not) and of about 30 960 the expected number of hospitalizations. The affected persons have a probability of home care use 1.7 times higlier than the others. No impact on the number of outpatient care provided by hospitals has been found. Our results are comparable to those found in the international and Swiss literature, except for hospital outpatient care. In 1990, of 983,400 perçons aged 65 and older, 403,200 persons suffered from rheumatic diseases. 5,334,900 consultations by a physician or a chiropractor, 4,959,300 consultations by a physician and 2 16,800 hospitalizations were attributed to the elderly whatever, the reason of consultation, of which 1,008,000 consultations by a physicianlchiropractor, 927,300 by a physician, and 98,500 hospitalizations are due to rheumatic diseases. According to the "tendance" scenario of demographic projections published by the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics, until 2040 the number of persons suffering from rheumatic diseases will increase of 80 % if the prevalence stays stable, affecting 736,500 of 1,772,000 perçons of 65 and older. This increase is due to the increase of the percentage of persons 65 and older in the population. The global number of consultationshospitalizations will increase similarly if the use of health services stays stable. In 2040, 9,613,l 00 consultations by a physiciaidchiropractor, 8,936,200 Consultations by a physician and 390,700 hospitalizations could be attributed to the persons aged 65 and older, of which 1,816,300 consultations by a physician, 1,671,000 consultations by a physician/chiropractor and 109,600 hospitalizations will be due to the rheumatic diseases. However a small decrease of the number of affected perçons and of the subsequent use of health services is expected after 2040. The number of affected elderly people and the volume of conçultations/hospitalizations are expected to increase and it ir necessx-y to slow down this progression. Preventive interventions, primary, secondary or tertiary, can decrease the prevalence of rheumatic diseases and the impaci on the consumption of health services.