Patterns of comorbidity and multimorbidity in the oldest old: the Octabaix study

Eur J Intern Med. 2013 Jan;24(1):40-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2012.11.003. Epub 2012 Nov 24.


Background: Multimorbidity is associated with higher mortality, increased disability, a decline in functional status and a lower quality of life. The objective of the study is to explore patterns of multimorbidity in an elderly population.

Methods: 328 community inhabitants aged 85 years were included. Socio-demographic variables and data from the global geriatric assessment were evaluated. Information on the presence of sixteen common chronic conditions was collected: hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, ischemic cardiomyopathy, heart failure, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, (COPD), atrial fibrillation, peripheral arterial disease, Parkinson's disease, cancer, dementia, anemia, chronic kidney disease (CKD), visual impairment and deafness. Hierarchical cluster analysis was performed.

Results: The rate of multimorbidity (>1 disease) was 95.1%. Men had a higher percentage of COPD and malignancy. Four main clusters were identified. The highest value of the bivariate correlation matrix was that between heart failure and visual impairment. These two diseases were included in a cluster with atrial fibrillation, CKD, heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.

Conclusions: The large majority of oldest old subjects had multimorbidity. The results confirm the non-random co-occurrence of certain diseases in this age group.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Geriatrics*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies