How many is too many? Prevalence rates and related childhood factors of Multimorbidity in New Zealand
Multimorbidity is the term given to two or more concurrent diseases occurring in the same individual. Compared to singular diseases, multimorbidity is associated with significantly worse health outcomes, more complex clinical management, and increased health care costs. An increasing number of people are found to be multimorbid, and the phenomenon is now seen as the norm rather than the exception. Despite the severe consequences, research in this field is lacking. This study assessed the prevalence of multimorbidity among Study Members of the Dunedin Study. In addition, the association between various childhood risk factors and multimorbidity were evaluated. Self-reports for physical health, and both self-reported and informant-reported data regarding childhood risk factors were used. The prevalence of multimorbidity was 14.7% at age 38, and females were 1.65 times as likely as males to have multimorbid physical conditions. Findings concerning childhood factors were mixed, and did not wholly support the hypotheses. Further research in this field is required, as a deeper understanding on the prevention, development, and treatment of multimorbidity is desperately needed to combat its consequences.
Advisor: Poulton, Richie; Ramrakha, Sandhya
Degree Name: Master of Science
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: multimorbidity, "physical health", "childhood risk factors", "Dunedin Study"
Research Type: Thesis