Objective This study aimed to identify associations between multimorbidity and subjective health outcomes among the very old persons, after adjusting for coexisting conditions such as frailty and depression. Study setting and participants This was an observational cross-sectional study involving 1012 independent, community-dwelling very old persons (507 men, 505 women; aged 85-89 years) in Kawasaki city, Japan. Outcome measures The primary outcome was the cross-sectional associations between multimorbidity and poor self-rated health (SRH) and life satisfaction using binary logistic regression. The secondary outcome was the association of subjective health with each chronic condition. Results The prevalence of multimorbidity (≥2 conditions) was 94.7%, and the average number of chronic conditions was 4.47±1.9. Multimorbidity was significantly associated with poor SRH in the adjusted model only when six or more chronic conditions were present (OR 4.80; 95% CI 1.34 to 17.11; p=0.016). Cerebrovascular disease, heart disease, respiratory disease, connective tissue disease and arthritis showed significant associations with poor SRH after multivariate adjustment. Sex-specific analysis replicated associations between multimorbidity with six or more conditions and SRH in both men and women, while the diseases with the greatest impact on SRH differed between men and women. Most conditions were not associated with low satisfaction with life scale, with the exception of arthritis (OR 1.92, 95% CI 1.32 to 2.78, p=0.001). Conclusions Multimorbidity is prevalent in the independent, community-dwelling very old persons and is associated with poor SRH when six or more conditions are present; conditions causing mobility limitations, such as cerebrovascular disease, connective tissue disease and arthritis, have a negative impact on SRH. Trial registration number UMIN000026053.
- general medicine (see internal medicine)
- geriatric medicine
- primary care
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Medicine