Associations between prevalent multimorbidity combinations and prospective disability and self-rated health among older adults in Europe

Paige E. Sheridan, Christine A. Mair, Ana R. Quinõnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Multimorbidity is associated with greater likelihood of disability, health-related quality of life, and mortality, greater than the risk attributable to individual diseases. The objective of this study is to examine the association between unique multimorbidity combinations and prospective disability and poor self-rated health (SRH) in older adults in Europe. Methods: We conducted a prospective analysis using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe in 2013 and 2015. We used hierarchical models to compare respondents with multiple chronic conditions to healthy respondents and respondents reporting only one chronic condition and made within-group comparisons to examine the marginal contribution of specific chronic condition combinations. Results: Less than 20% of the study population reported having zero chronic conditions, while 50% reported having at least two chronic conditions. We identified 380 unique disease combinations among people who reported having at least two chronic conditions. Over 35% of multimorbidity could be attributed to five specific multimorbidity combinations, and over 50% to ten specific combinations. Overall, multimorbidity combinations that included high depressive symptoms were associated with increased odds of reporting poor SRH, and increased rates of ADL-IADL disability. Conclusions: Multimorbidity groups that include high depressive symptoms may be more disabling than combinations that include only somatic conditions. These findings argue for a continued integration of both mental and somatic chronic conditions in the conceptualization of multimorbidity, with important implications for clinical practice and healthcare delivery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number198
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 27 2019

Keywords

  • Depression
  • Disability
  • Multimorbidity
  • Multiple chronic conditions
  • Self-rated health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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