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Trajectories of multimorbidity: exploring patterns of multimorbidity in patients with more than ten chronic health problems in life course.

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 6/03/2015 19:37

Especially general practitioners are frequently confronted with complex health situations of patients, but knowledge of intensive forms of multimorbidity and their development during the life of patients is lacking.AimThis study explores the patterns and trajectories of chronic health problems of patients with multimorbidity particularly those with more than ten (11+) conditions and the type and variety of organ systems involved in these patterns during life.DesignObservational study.

Vos R, van den Akker M, Boesten J, Robertson C, Metsemakers J. Trajectories of multimorbidity: exploring patterns of multimorbidity in patients with more than ten chronic health problems in life course. BMC Fam Pract. 2015 Jan 22;16(1):2. Available at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2296/16/2


Article

6/03/2015

Method

Life time prevalence patterns of chronic health problems were determined in patients with illness trajectories accumulating more than ten chronic health problems during life as registered by general practitioners in the South of the Netherlands in the Registration Network Family Practices (RNH).

Results

Overall 4,560 subjects (5%) were registered with more than ten chronic health problems during their life (MM11+), accounting for 61,653 (20%) of the 302,808 registered health problems in the RNH population (N¿=¿87,837 subjects). More than 30% of the patients accumulate 4 or more chronic health conditions during their lifetime (i.e. MM4-5: 4¿5 conditions (N¿=¿14,199; 16.2%); MM6-10: 6¿10 chronic conditions (N¿=¿14,365; 16.4%).Gastro-intestinal, cardiovascular, locomotor, respiratory and metabolic conditions occur more frequently in the MM11+ patients than in the other patients, while the nature and variety of body systems involved in lifetime accumulation of chronic health problem clusters is both generic and specific. Regarding chronic conditions possibly afflicting multiple sites throughout the body, the number of neoplasms seems low (N¿=¿3,592; 5.8%), but 2,461 (49%) of the 4,560 subjects have registered at least one neoplasm condition during life. A similar pattern can be noted for inflammation (N¿=¿3,537, 78%), infection (N¿=¿2,451, 54%) and injury (N¿=¿3,401, 75%).

Conclusion

There are many challenges facing multimorbidity research, including the implementation of a longitudinal, life-time approach from a family practice perspective. The present study, although exploratory by nature, shows that both general and specific mechanisms characterize the development of multimorbidity trajectories. A very small proportion of patients has a very high number of chronic health problems (MM11+) and keeps adding health problems in their life. However, GP¿s need to realise that more than one third of their patients accumulate four or more chronic health problems (MM4-5 and MM6-10) in their lifetime.


Vos R, van den Akker M, Boesten J, Robertson C, Metsemakers J.

España.