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Multimorbidity in adults from a southern Brazilian city: occurrence and patterns

Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to evaluate occurrences and patterns of multimorbidity in adults from a southern Brazilian city.

Methods

A population-based cross-sectional study was carried out in 2012 through face-to-face interviews with adults (20 or more years) living in Pelotas, southern Brazil. Multimorbidity was evaluated by a list of 11 morbidities (based on medical diagnosis; Patient Health Questionnaire 9 for depression; and Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical index) and operationalized according to two cutoff points: ≥2 and ≥3 morbidities. Descriptive analysis and factor analysis (FA) were performed.

Results

The sample was made up of 2927 adults. Multimorbidity reached 29.1 % (95 % CI: 27.1; 31.1) for ≥2, and 14.3 % (95 % CI: 12.8; 15.8) for ≥3 morbidities and was greater in females, older people, those with less schooling and those from lower economic classes. Four pairs (frequency ≥5 %) and four triplets (frequency ≥2 %) were observed. Two patterns of morbidities (cardiometabolic and joint problems; and respiratory diseases) explained 93 % of total variance.

Conclusions

Multimorbidity was common in the studied population. The observed patterns may be used to generate and improve Brazilian diseases guidelines.

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Correspondence to Bruno Pereira Nunes.

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Nunes, B.P., Camargo-Figuera, F.A., Guttier, M. et al. Multimorbidity in adults from a southern Brazilian city: occurrence and patterns. Int J Public Health 61, 1013–1020 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-016-0819-7

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Keywords

  • Comorbidity
  • Multimorbidity
  • Chronic diseases
  • Statistical disease clustering
  • Elderly
  • Brazil