Multimorbidity: Epidemiology and Models of Care

dianagosalvez Diana Gosálvez Prados last modified 6/05/2016 11:47

Due to the aging of the population, the prevalence of chronic diseases is progressively increasing and most older adults experience the cooccurrence of multiple diseases, a condition known as multimorbidity. It has been estimated that 60% of persons aged 65 years or older are affected by multimorbidity, the reason why the condition is sometimes referred to as the “most common chronic disease”

Marengoni A, Melis RJ, Prados Torres A, Onder G. Multimorbidity: Epidemiology and Models of Care. Biomed Res Int. 2016;2016:7029027. Available at:



The appearance of clusters and patterns of patients and diseases in different context and populations group has been also demonstrated . Advanced age, female gender, low socioeconomic status, and education are among the main risk factors for the development of multimorbidity. This suggests, for example, that early life learned risk behaviours may affect the development of this condition [2]. Compared to those with single conditions, persons with multimorbidity are more likely to experience negative health outcomes, including mortality, hospitalization, and functional and cognitive decline, leading ultimately to poorer quality of life and increased care costs. Persons with multimorbidity have the most complex health needs but, due to the current disease-oriented approach in healthcare, they face highly fragmented care that leads to incomplete, inefficient, ineffective, and even potentially harmful interventions.

Marengoni A, Melis RJ, Prados Torres A, Onder G.

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