Prevalence of Chronic Conditions and Multimorbidities in a Geographically Defined Geriatric Population With Diverse Races and Ethnicities

J Aging Health. 2018 Mar;30(3):421-444. doi: 10.1177/0898264316680903. Epub 2016 Dec 2.


Objective: The objective of this study is to examine racial/ethnic differences in prevalence of chronic conditions and multimorbidities in the geriatric population of a state with diverse races/ethnicities.

Method: Fifteen chronic conditions and their dyads and triads were investigated using Hawaii Medicare 2012 data. For each condition, a multivariable logistic regression model was used to investigate differences in race/ethnicity, adjusting for subject characteristics.

Results: Of the 84,212 beneficiaries, 27.8% were Whites, 54.6% Asians, and 5.2% Hispanics. Racial/ethnic disparities were prevalent for most conditions. Compared with Whites, Asians, Hispanics, and Others showed significantly higher prevalence rates in hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and most dyads or triads of the chronic conditions. However, Whites had higher prevalence rates in arthritis and dementia.

Discussion: Race/ethnicity may need to be considered when making clinical decisions and developing health care programs to reduce health disparities and improve quality of life for older individuals with chronic conditions.

Keywords: Medicare; chronic condition; ethnicity; multimorbidity; race.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data
  • Multimorbidity
  • Multiple Chronic Conditions* / classification
  • Multiple Chronic Conditions* / ethnology
  • Multiple Chronic Conditions* / psychology
  • Needs Assessment
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • United States / epidemiology