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      Multimorbidity in Older Adults

      Epidemiologic Reviews
      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          Multimorbidity, the coexistence of 2 or more chronic conditions, has become prevalent among older adults as mortality rates have declined and the population has aged. We examined population-based administrative claims data indicating specific health service delivery to nearly 31 million Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries for 15 prevalent chronic conditions. A total of 67% had multimorbidity, which increased with age, from 50% for persons under age 65 years to 62% for those aged 65-74 years and 81.5% for those aged ≥85 years. A systematic review identified 16 other prevalence studies conducted in community samples that included older adults, with median prevalence of 63% and a mode of 67%. Prevalence differences between studies are probably due to methodological biases; no studies were comparable. Key methodological issues arise from elements of the case definition, including type and number of chronic conditions included, ascertainment methods, and source population. Standardized methods for measuring multimorbidity are needed to enable public health surveillance and prevention. Multimorbidity is associated with elevated risk of death, disability, poor functional status, poor quality of life, and adverse drug events. Additional research is needed to develop an understanding of causal pathways and to further develop and test potential clinical and population interventions targeting multimorbidity. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2013.

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          Epidemiology and risk profile of heart failure.

          Heart failure (HF) is a major public health issue, with a prevalence of over 5.8 million in the USA, and over 23 million worldwide, and rising. The lifetime risk of developing HF is one in five. Although promising evidence shows that the age-adjusted incidence of HF may have plateaued, HF still carries substantial morbidity and mortality, with 5-year mortality that rival those of many cancers. HF represents a considerable burden to the health-care system, responsible for costs of more than $39 billion annually in the USA alone, and high rates of hospitalizations, readmissions, and outpatient visits. HF is not a single entity, but a clinical syndrome that may have different characteristics depending on age, sex, race or ethnicity, left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) status, and HF etiology. Furthermore, pathophysiological differences are observed among patients diagnosed with HF and reduced LVEF compared with HF and preserved LVEF, which are beginning to be better appreciated in epidemiological studies. A number of risk factors, such as ischemic heart disease, hypertension, smoking, obesity, and diabetes, among others, have been identified that both predict the incidence of HF as well as its severity. In this Review, we discuss key features of the epidemiology and risk profile of HF.
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            Frailty: an emerging research and clinical paradigm--issues and controversies.

            Clinicians and researchers have shown increasing interest in frailty. Yet, there is still considerable uncertainty regarding the concept and its definition. In this article, we present perspectives on key issues and controversies discussed by scientists from 13 different countries, representing a diverse range of disciplines, at the 2006 Second International Working Meeting on Frailty and Aging. The following fundamental questions are discussed: What is the distinction, if any, between frailty and aging? What is its relationship with chronic disease? Is frailty a syndrome or a series of age-related impairments that predict adverse outcomes? What are the critical domains in its operational definition? Is frailty a useful concept? The implications of different models and approaches are examined. Although consensus has yet to be attained, work accomplished to date has opened exciting new horizons. The article concludes with suggested directions for future research.
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              Health outcome prioritization as a tool for decision making among older persons with multiple chronic conditions.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Epidemiologic Reviews
                Epidemiologic Reviews
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                0193-936X
                1478-6729
                February 19 2013
                January 01 2013
                January 31 2013
                January 01 2013
                : 35
                : 1
                : 75-83
                Article
                10.1093/epirev/mxs009
                23372025
                124de087-e1f4-4e1e-84d1-63afde5f051a
                © 2013
                History

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