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Multimorbidity Trends Among US Adults

J Am Board Fam Med; 2018 Jul-Aug; King, et al

Multimorbidity is common among US adults and has been increasing over the last 25 years, a recent study found. Researchers analyzed data from multiple years (1988-2014) of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) in noninstitutionalized US adults. The primary outcome was the number of chronic conditions per individual analyzed by age, race, gender, and socioeconomic factors. Among the findings:

  • A total of 57,303 individuals were surveyed regarding the presence of multimorbidity in separate surveys from 1988-2014.
  • The overall prevalence in 2013-2014 of >2 morbidities was 59.6%, 38.5% had ≥3 morbidities, and 22.7% had ≥4 morbidities, which was significantly higher than in 1988.
  • Among those with >2 morbidities, 54.1% have obesity compared to 41.9% in 1988.
  • Among adults aged >65 years, prevalence was nearly 92% for >2 morbidities.
  • Whites and blacks had significantly higher prevalence than Hispanic or “other” race.
  • Women had more current multimorbidities than men.


King DE, Xiang J, Pilkerton CS. Multimorbidity trends in United States adults, 1988-2014. J Am Board Fam Med. 2018;31(4):503-513. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2018.04.180008.