Prevalence of comorbidity of chronic diseases in Australia

Caughey, Gillian E.; Vitry, Agnes I.; Gilbert, Andrew L.; Roughead, Elizabeth E.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p221
Academic Journal
Background: The prevalence of comorbidity is high, with 80% of the elderly population having three or more chronic conditions. Comorbidity is associated with a decline in many health outcomes and increases in mortality and use of health care resources. The aim of this study was to identify, review and summarise studies reporting the prevalence of comorbidity of chronic diseases in Australia. Methods: A systematic review of Australian studies (1996 - May 2007) was conducted. The review focused specifically on the chronic diseases included as national health priorities; arthritis, asthma, cancer, cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes mellitus and mental health problems. Results: A total of twenty five studies met our inclusion criteria. Over half of the elderly patients with arthritis also had hypertension, 20% had CVD, 14% diabetes and 12% mental health problem. Over 60% of patients with asthma reported arthritis as a comorbidity, 20% also had CVD and 16% diabetes. Of those with CVD, 60% also had arthritis, 20% diabetes and 10% had asthma or mental health problems. Conclusion: There are comparatively few Australian studies that focused on comorbidity associated with chronic disease. However, they do show high prevalence of comorbidity across national health priority areas. This suggests integration and co-ordination of the national health priority areas is critical. A greater awareness of the importance of managing a patients' overall health status within the context of comorbidity is needed together with, increased research on comorbidity to provide an appropriate scientific basis on which to build evidence based care guidelines for these multimorbid patients.


Related Articles

  • Multimorbidity Patterns in the Elderly: A New Approach of Disease Clustering Identifies Complex Interrelations between Chronic Conditions. Schäfer, Ingmar; von Leitner, Eike-Christin; Schön, Gerhard; Koller, Daniela; Hansen, Heike; Kolonko, Tina; Kaduszkiewicz, Hanna; Wegscheider, Karl; Glaeske, Gerd; van den Bussche, Hendrik // PLoS ONE;2010, Vol. 5 Issue 12, p1 

    Objective: Multimorbidity is a common problem in the elderly that is significantly associated with higher mortality, increased disability and functional decline. Information about interactions of chronic diseases can help to facilitate diagnosis, amend prevention and enhance the patients'...

  • Prescription spending caps and seniors.  // Hospital Home Health;Dec2007, Vol. 24 Issue 12, p142 

    The article discusses the results of a recently released study by the Rand Corp., which found that many seniors quit taking drugs for chronic illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure when they exceed their drug plan's yearly spending limits.

  • Influence of Pedometer Position on Pedometer Accuracy at Various Walking Speeds: A Comparative Study. Ehrler, Frederic; Weber, Chloé; Lovis, Christian // Journal of Medical Internet Research;Oct2016, Vol. 18 Issue 10, p41 

    Background: Demographic growth in conjunction with the rise of chronic diseases is increasing the pressure on health care systems in most OECD countries. Physical activity is known to be an essential factor in improving or maintaining good health. Walking is especially recommended, as it is an...

  • Multimorbidity Patterns, Frailty, and Survival in Community-Dwelling Older Adults. Nguyen, Quoc Dinh; Wu, Chenkai; Odden, Michelle C; Kim, Dae Hyun // Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences & Medical ;Aug2019, Vol. 74 Issue 8, p1265 

    Background: Frailty and multimorbidity are independent prognostic factors for mortality, but their interaction has not been fully explored. We investigated the importance of multimorbidity patterns in older adults with the same level of frailty phenotype.Methods: In a...

  • Polymorbidity in diabetes in older people: consequences for care and vocational training. van Bussel, B.; Pijpers, E.; Ferreira, I.; Castermans, P.; Nieuwenhuijzen Kruseman, A. // Postgraduate Medical Journal;Dec2007, Vol. 83 Issue 986, p763 

    Objective: To investigate the prevalence of complicating and concurrent morbidities in older diabetic patients and to evaluate to what extent their occurrence affects the burden of disease and use of medical healthcare. Study design: Cross-sectional analysis of retrospectively obtained data on...

  • Clinical Close-Up. Guttman, Cheryl // Geriatrics;Oct2000, Vol. 55 Issue 10, p63 

    Focuses on the results of a 2000 survey conducted by several United States (U.S.) government agencies regarding the health status, health risks, and health care of older U.S. citizens. Presence of different chronic diseases among aged persons in the U.S.; Quality of health care services for...

  • Quick death, slow death. Sherman, Fredrick T. // Geriatrics;Aug2009, Vol. 64 Issue 8, p6 

    The author reflects on the death of his father and mother as well as the importance of palliative care. He mentions that his father died at the age of 57 due to atherosclerosis while his mother died at the age of 92. He discusses the lessons he learned from the quick death of his father and the...

  • 10 clues to caring for the chronically ill. Garrell, Marvin; Hazzard, William R. // Patient Care;2/28/1994, Vol. 28 Issue 4, p65 

    Offers tips for primary care physicians in helping aged patients with one or more chronic illnesses. INSETS: Geriatrics: A primary care specialty.;Practice good preventive medicine.;Emphasize the benefits of exercise..

  • The Quagmire. CALLAHAN, DANIEL; NULAND, SHERWIN B. // New Republic;6/9/2011, Vol. 242 Issue 8, p16 

    The article discusses what the authors consider to be an unsustainable trajectory in American medicine. In their view too many resources are being committed to the pursuit of cures for chronic illnesses not likely to be remedied for many years to come. They believe that medicine should adopt new...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics