Trends of Multimorbidity Patterns over 16 Years in Older Taiwanese People and Their Relationship to Mortality

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Mar 11;19(6):3317. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19063317.


Understanding multimorbidity patterns is important in finding a common etiology and developing prevention strategies. Our aim was to identify the multimorbidity patterns of Taiwanese people aged over 50 years and to explore their relationship with health outcomes. This longitudinal cohort study used data from the Taiwan Longitudinal Study on Aging. The data were obtained from wave 3, and the multimorbidity patterns in 1996, 1999, 2003, 2007, and 2011 were analyzed separately by latent class analysis (LCA). The association between each disease group and mortality was examined using logistic regression. Four disease patterns were identified in 1996, namely, the cardiometabolic (18.57%), arthritis-cataract (15.61%), relatively healthy (58.92%), and multimorbidity (6.9%) groups. These disease groups remained similar in the following years. After adjusting all the confounders, the cardiometabolic group showed the highest risk for mortality (odds ratio: 1.237, 95% confidence interval: 1.040-1.472). This longitudinal study reveals the trend of multimorbidity among older adults in Taiwan for 16 years. Older adults with a cardiometabolic multimorbidity pattern had a dismal outcome. Thus, healthcare professionals should put more emphasis on the prevention and identification of cardiometabolic multimorbidity.

Keywords: chronic diseases; elderly; latent class analysis; mortality; multimorbidity; trend.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Cardiovascular Diseases*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Multimorbidity*