A new study published in BMC Medicine suggests that presence of multimorbidity has an increased impact on all-cause mortality in middle-aged men, as opposed to older populations.
Researchers at the University of Glasgow conducted a prospective population-based cohort study with 502,640 individuals recruited in the UK Biobank.
The findings showed that presence of ≥4 long-term conditions (LTCs) such as cardiometabolic diseases, chronic kidney disease, cancer, epilepsy, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depression, osteoporosis and connective tissue disorders had the greatest impact on all-cause mortality. Compared with individuals with no LTC, those with 1 LTC, 2 LTCs, 3 LTCs and 4 LTCs had a 1.5-fold, >1.5-fold, 2-fold and 3-fold higher likelihood of dying, respectively, during the median 7-year follow-up period.
Although the age group of 60-73 years has higher absolute mortality, the association between multimorbidity and increased mortality risk was strongest in men aged 37-49 years. The association remained consistent across all socioeconomic status categories. The study also revealed a link between cardiovascular multimorbidity and cancer mortality.
Dr Bhautesh Jani, the lead author, said: "Going forward, further research is needed to study the impact and management of multimorbidity in middle-aged adults, as they may be at higher risk of early death."