The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of multimorbidity (definided as the presence of two ou more health condictions in the same individual), associated factors and the influence of hypertension in older adults.Design and method:
A population-based cross-sectional design study with 932 elderly people from Goiania, Midwestern Brazil to evaluate the prevalence of multimorbidity and associated factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, overweight / obesity, physical inactivity, educational level, income and marital status). The outcome was multimorbidity measured through diseases count to the following health problems (high blood pressure; diabetes; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; cancer; acute myocardial infarction; stroke; rheumatism, arthritis or arthrosis; osteoporosis).Results:
From total sample of 932 elderly, 62.2% were female and 48,3% age between 60–69 years. The most prevalent diseases were high blood pressure (59,7%); osteoporosis (24,6%); rheumatism, arthritis or arthrosis (21,4%) and diabetes (19%). Multimorbidity was present in 50,5% of older adults (56,5% in females and 40,6% in males). The prevalence of multimorbidity increased substantially with age: 43,1% (69–69 years), 58,1% (70–79 years) and 56,4% (80 years and more). Multimorbidity was associated with sex, age and educational status. The highest proportions of two or more diseases were among the elderly classified as inactive and those who did not consume alcohol. According health conditions, the highest prevalence of multimorbidity were found among the elderly who reported depressive symptoms (66.1 %), health self-rated as poor (79.1 %), hypercholesterolemia (64.5%), hyperlipidemia (69.5 %). The high blood pressure was present in 70,8% of cases of multimorbidity. Cognitive impairment and depression was present in 53,3% and 66,1% of individuals with multimorbidity.Conclusions:
Our findings challenge the Brazilian Health System to configure news strategies to care of people with multimorbidity. The care of hypertension and related diseases requests special attention. The high prevalence of multimorbidity and the specific needs of these complex patients should be discussed.