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      Prevalence and correlates of multimorbidity among patients attending AYUSH primary care settings in Delhi-National Capital Region, India


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          India has a multifaceted healthcare system and recognizes complementary and alternative systems of medicine (AYUSH) that cater to the healthcare needs of people. Multimorbidity requires frequent visits to physicians and long-term use of medications, due to which people tend to prefer AYUSH systems as they provide holistic patient-centered treatment. Hence, we aimed to estimate the prevalence of multimorbidity and assess its correlates among patients attending AYUSH primary care clinics in Delhi.


          A cross-sectional study was conducted among 943 patients aged ≥ 18 years attending various AYUSH primary care clinics in Delhi from September 2021 to February 2022, employing a stratified random sampling technique. Descriptive statistics such as frequency and proportion were used to report the prevalence of multimorbidity (two or more chronic conditions in an individual out of the 33 conditions listed as per the Multimorbidity Assessment Questionnaire for Primary Care). A multivariable logistic regression assessed the association between various socio-demographic characteristics and multimorbidity, presented as an adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with a 95% confidence interval (CI).


          The prevalence of diabetes (14.7%) was found to be the highest (out of all included chronic conditions) among the patients attending various AYUSH primary care settings. The overall prevalence of multimorbidity was observed to be around 39.4%. We observed a higher likelihood of having multimorbidity among participants aged ≥ 70 years [AOR: 9.19 (95% CI: 3.75–22.54)], females [AOR: 1.57 (95% CI: 1.04–2.37)], and middle class [AOR: 2.23 (95% CI: 1.45–3.43)].


          Multimorbidity was evidently prevalent across AYUSH primary care settings, which cannot be overlooked. The results suggest behavioral change communication may be aimed at older individuals, females, and the middle class.

          Supplementary Information

          The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12906-023-04158-7.

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          Most cited references35

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          Aging with multimorbidity: a systematic review of the literature.

          A literature search was carried out to summarize the existing scientific evidence concerning occurrence, causes, and consequences of multimorbidity (the coexistence of multiple chronic diseases) in the elderly as well as models and quality of care of persons with multimorbidity. According to pre-established inclusion criteria, and using different search strategies, 41 articles were included (four of these were methodological papers only). Prevalence of multimorbidity in older persons ranges from 55 to 98%. In cross-sectional studies, older age, female gender, and low socioeconomic status are factors associated with multimorbidity, confirmed by longitudinal studies as well. Major consequences of multimorbidity are disability and functional decline, poor quality of life, and high health care costs. Controversial results were found on multimorbidity and mortality risk. Methodological issues in evaluating multimorbidity are discussed as well as future research needs, especially concerning etiological factors, combinations and clustering of chronic diseases, and care models for persons affected by multiple disorders. New insights in this field can lead to the identification of preventive strategies and better treatment of multimorbid patients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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            Prevalence, Determinants and Patterns of Multimorbidity in Primary Care: A Systematic Review of Observational Studies

            Introduction Multimorbidity is a major concern in primary care. Nevertheless, evidence of prevalence and patterns of multimorbidity, and their determinants, are scarce. The aim of this study is to systematically review studies of the prevalence, patterns and determinants of multimorbidity in primary care. Methods Systematic review of literature published between 1961 and 2013 and indexed in Ovid (CINAHL, PsychINFO, Medline and Embase) and Web of Knowledge. Studies were selected according to eligibility criteria of addressing prevalence, determinants, and patterns of multimorbidity and using a pretested proforma in primary care. The quality and risk of bias were assessed using STROBE criteria. Two researchers assessed the eligibility of studies for inclusion (Kappa  = 0.86). Results We identified 39 eligible publications describing studies that included a total of 70,057,611 patients in 12 countries. The number of health conditions analysed per study ranged from 5 to 335, with multimorbidity prevalence ranging from 12.9% to 95.1%. All studies observed a significant positive association between multimorbidity and age (odds ratio [OR], 1.26 to 227.46), and lower socioeconomic status (OR, 1.20 to 1.91). Positive associations with female gender and mental disorders were also observed. The most frequent patterns of multimorbidity included osteoarthritis together with cardiovascular and/or metabolic conditions. Conclusions Well-established determinants of multimorbidity include age, lower socioeconomic status and gender. The most prevalent conditions shape the patterns of multimorbidity. However, the limitations of the current evidence base means that further and better designed studies are needed to inform policy, research and clinical practice, with the goal of improving health-related quality of life for patients with multimorbidity. Standardization of the definition and assessment of multimorbidity is essential in order to better understand this phenomenon, and is a necessary immediate step.
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                Author and article information

                varanasiroja@gmail.com , v.roja@student.amity.edu
                BMC Complement Med Ther
                BMC Complement Med Ther
                BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies
                BioMed Central (London )
                29 November 2023
                29 November 2023
                : 23
                : 429
                [1 ]Amity Institute of Public Health, Amity University, ( https://ror.org/02n9z0v62) Noida, India
                [2 ]Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy, ( https://ror.org/04qawwn42) Ministry of AYUSH, New Delhi, India
                [3 ]ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre, ( https://ror.org/01qr3vg91) Bhubaneswar, Odisha India
                [4 ]Directorate of AYUSH, Government of Delhi, Delhi, India
                [5 ]SRM Institute of Science & Technology, ( https://ror.org/050113w36) Chennai, Tamil Nadu India
                [6 ]Amity School of Health Sciences, Amity University, ( https://ror.org/02n9z0v62) Mohali, Punjab India
                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2023

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 26 February 2023
                : 7 September 2023
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                multimorbidity,primary care,ayush,delhi,india
                multimorbidity, primary care, ayush, delhi, india


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