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Prevalence and patterns of morbidity among adults in Germany

Results of the German telephone health interview survey German Health Update (GEDA) 2009
  • J. Fuchs
  • M. Busch
  • C. Lange
  • C. Scheidt-Nave
Originalien und Übersichten

Abstract

To describe the prevalence and patterns of morbidity among adults in Germany, we collected self-reported information on 22 chronic health conditions in a nationally representative health survey among 21,262 participants (51.5% women, aged 18–100 years). Age- and sex-specific prevalences were calculated for single health conditions, disease categories, the most prevalent disease dyads and triads, and for multimorbidity defined by condition count. In both sexes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, chronic back pain, obesity, and osteoarthritis were the most prevalent single health conditions and significantly increased with age. Cardiometabolic and musculoskeletal conditions were the two most prevalent disease categories in all age and sex groups. The most prevalent disease category dyads and triads included combinations between cardiometabolic conditions, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease, depression, sensory limitations, and cancer. The prevalence and magnitude of multimorbidity strongly increased with age in both sexes. Among German adults, the prevalence of chronic health conditions varies greatly by age and sex. In contrast, patterns of morbidity and comorbidity differ according to age, but are highly consistent between men and women. The predominant role of cardiometabolic conditions in all groups underlines the need for preventive efforts. The co-occurrence of chronic health conditions among older is highly prevalent and this calls for tailoring health care towards specific disease combinations.

Keywords

Prevalence Morbidity Chronic conditions Multimorbidity 

Krankheitsprävalenzen und -muster bei Erwachsenen in Deutschland

Ergebnisse der Studie Gesundheit in Deutschland aktuell 2009 (GEDA 2009) des Robert Koch-Instituts

Zusammenfassung

Zur Beschreibung von Krankheitsprävalenzen und -mustern bei Erwachsenen in Deutschland wurden Informationen zu 22 chronischen Gesundheitsproblemen bei 21.262 Personen im Alter von 18 bis 100 Jahren (51,5% Frauen) telefonisch erhoben. Alters- und geschlechtsspezifische Prävalenzen wurden für einzelne Gesundheitsprobleme, Krankheitsgruppen, häufigste Kombinationen und Vorliegen von Mehrfacherkrankungen (Multimorbidität) ermittelt. Die insgesamt häufigsten und mit dem Alter zunehmenden Gesundheitsprobleme waren bei Männern und Frauen Bluthochdruck, Hypercholesterinämie, chronische Rückenschmerzen, Adipositas und Arthrose. Die Gruppe der kardiometabolischen und muskuloskelettalen Erkrankungen dominierten in allen Alters- und Geschlechtsstrata. In Zweier- und Dreierkombinationen finden sich außerdem häufig kardiovaskuläre und maligne Erkrankungen, Depression und schwere Seh- oder Hörbeeinträchtigungen. Mit zunehmendem Alter steigt die Prävalenz multimorbider Personen. Während die Prävalenz chronischer Erkrankungen nach Alter und Geschlecht variiert, unterscheiden sich Krankheits- und Komorbiditätsmuster nur nach Alter. Das Überwiegen kardiometabolischer Erkrankungen unterstreicht die Notwendigkeit präventiver Ansätze. Ältere sind besonders von Multimorbidität betroffen, was eine gezielte Abstimmung der gesundheitlichen Versorgung auf Menschen mit bestimmten Krankheitskombinationen erfordert.

Schlüsselwörter

Prävalenz Morbidität Chronische Krankheiten Multimorbidität 

Notes

Conflict of interest

The corresponding author states that there are no conflicts of interests.

Supplementary material

103_2012_1464_MO1_ESM.pdf (159 kb)
Supplemental Table 1 and 2: Age- and sex-specific prevalence of individual health conditions and disease categories (PDF 160 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Robert Koch InstituteDepartment of Epidemiology and Health MonitoringBerlinGermany

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