Aging and Multimorbidity: New Tasks, Priorities, and Frontiers for Integrated Gerontological and Clinical Research

J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2015 Aug 1;16(8):640-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jamda.2015.03.013. Epub 2015 May 7.


Aging is characterized by rising susceptibility to development of multiple chronic diseases and, therefore, represents the major risk factor for multimorbidity. From a gerontological perspective, the progressive accumulation of multiple diseases, which significantly accelerates at older ages, is a milestone for progressive loss of resilience and age-related multisystem homeostatic dysregulation. Because it is most likely that the same mechanisms that drive aging also drive multiple age-related chronic diseases, addressing those mechanisms may reduce the development of multimorbidity. According to this vision, studying multimorbidity may help to understand the biology of aging and, at the same time, understanding the underpinnings of aging may help to develop strategies to prevent or delay the burden of multimorbidity. As a consequence, we believe that it is time to build connections and dialogue between the clinical experience of general practitioners and geriatricians and the scientists who study aging, so as to stimulate innovative research projects to improve the management and the treatment of older patients with multiple morbidities.

Keywords: Multimorbidity; aging; chronic disease; multiple morbidities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Biomedical Research*
  • Chronic Disease*
  • Comorbidity*
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors