Multimorbidity measures were poor predictors of adverse events in patients aged ≥80 years: a prospective cohort study

J Clin Epidemiol. 2015 Feb;68(2):220-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2014.08.010. Epub 2014 Dec 19.


Objectives: To assess and compare the ability of two measures of multimorbidity and a simple disease count (DC) to predict health outcomes in a population of patients aged ≥80 years.

Study design and setting: A prospective, observational, and population-based cohort study including 567 individuals [3.0 years (standard deviation ± 0.25) follow-up].

Results: Of the patients, 37.6% were reported with five or more diseases. Multimorbidity was measured by means of a modified Charlson comorbidity index [mCCI; median score, 5 (range, 4-15)], Cumulative Illness Rating Scale [CIRS; median score, 4 (range, 1-11)], and a simple DC of 22 selected chronic conditions [median score, 4 (range, 0-13)]. All measures were independently related to mortality [adjusted hazard ratio (HR) mCCI, 2.5 (confidence interval {CI}: 1.5, 4.1); CIRS, 2.1 (CI: 1.4, 3.2); DC, 2.1 (CI: 1.4, 3.2)] and hospitalization [adjusted HR DC, 2.3 (CI: 1.7, 3.1); mCCI, 2.1 (CI: 1.5, 3.0), CIRS, 1.9 (CI: 1.5, 2.6)] but not to functional decline. Areas under the curve for mortality and hospitalization were all below 0.70. Net reclassification improvements did not indicate that any one measure provided a significant benefit over the others.

Conclusion: In this population, the mCCI, CIRS, and unweighted DC predicted mortality and hospitalization but not functional decline. There is no clear advantage of using one measure over another.

Keywords: Functional decline; Hospitalization; Measurement; Mortality; Multimorbidity; Older persons.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease / drug therapy
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease / mortality*
  • Comorbidity*
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Geriatrics*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index*
  • Survival Rate