A new study that examined the prevalence of multi-morbidity and its link with health outcomes in Europe has found that multi-morbidity among adults aged 50 years and older is increasing.
Researchers used multiple cross-sectional data from 2006-2007 to 2015 from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe to estimate changes in the prevalence of multi-morbidity and in its association with health outcomes in 10 European countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
They found overall multi-morbidity in older adults increased from 38.2 per cent in 2006-2007 to 41.5 per cent in 2015. Most countries registered a significant increase in multi-morbidity; however, declines were seen in Denmark and Italy. There was a marginal reduction in the impact of multi-morbidity on primary care visits and functional capacity, but no reduction of its impact on hospital admissions and quality of life.
"Our findings provide further evidence supporting the need to implement national patient-centred strategies to improve care and health outcomes for older people with multiple chronic conditions and the importance of identifying indicators that might be used to monitor the prevalence of multi-morbidity and its burden on European healthcare systems," the authors conclude.