Among people ages fifty and older, overall multimorbidity increased from 38.2 percent in 2006-07 to 41.5 percent in 2015, found authors.
To better understand the prevalence of multimorbidity and its link to health outcomes in Europe, Raffaele Palladino and coauthors from the University Federico II, in Naples, Italy; King's College London; and Imperial College London compared multiple cross-sectional data from 2006-07 to 2015 from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. They looked at data from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
‘Multimorbidity is defined as two or more coexisting chronic health conditions, which has been associated with worse physical and mental health outcomes. ’
While most countries registered a significant increase of multimorbidity, declines were seen in Denmark and Italy. Germany saw the greatest change, from 34.2 percent in 2006-07 to 44.6 percent in 2015.
"Our findings provide further evidence supporting the need to implement national patient-centered 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 multimorbidity and its burden on European health care systems," the authors conclude.