The co-occurrence of chronic diseases and geriatric syndromes: the health and retirement study.

TitleThe co-occurrence of chronic diseases and geriatric syndromes: the health and retirement study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsLee, PG, Cigolle, CT, Blaum, CS
JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Date Published2009 Mar
ISSN Number1532-5415
Call Numbernewpubs20090908/LeeJAG.pdf
KeywordsAccidental Falls, Activities of Daily Living, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Angina Pectoris, Comorbidity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Health Surveys, Heart Failure, Humans, Male, Myocardial Infarction, Sick Role, Syndrome, United States, Urinary incontinence

OBJECTIVES: To analyze the co-occurrence, in adults aged 65 and older, of five conditions that are highly prevalent, lead to substantial morbidity, and have evidence-based guidelines for management and well-developed measures of medical care quality.

DESIGN: Secondary data analysis of the 2004 wave of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS).

SETTING: Nationally representative health interview survey.

PARTICIPANTS: Respondents in the 2004 wave of the HRS aged 65 and older.

MEASUREMENTS: Self-reported presence of five index conditions (three chronic diseases (coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, and diabetes mellitus) and two geriatric syndromes (urinary incontinence and injurious falls)) and demographic information (age, sex, race, living situation, net worth, and education).

RESULTS: Eleven thousand one hundred thirteen adults, representing 37.1 million Americans aged 65 and older, were interviewed. Forty-five percent were aged 76 and older, 58% were female, 8% were African American, and 4% resided in a nursing home. Respondents with more conditions were older and more likely to be female, single, and residing in a nursing home (all P<.001). Fifty-six percent had at least one of the five index conditions, and 23% had two or more. Of respondents with one condition, 20% to 55% (depending on the index condition) had two or more additional conditions.

CONCLUSION: Five common conditions (3 chronic diseases, 2 geriatric syndromes) often co-occur in older adults, suggesting that coordinated management of comorbid conditions, both diseases and geriatric syndromes, is important. Care guidelines and quality indicators, rather than considering one condition at a time, should be developed to address comprehensive and coordinated management of co-occurring diseases and geriatric syndromes.

User Guide Notes

Endnote Keywords

COMORBIDITY/Chronic Disease/Diabetes Mellitus/Heart Diseases

Endnote ID


Alternate JournalJ Am Geriatr Soc
Citation Key7330
PubMed ID19187416
Grant List1F32AG027649-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG021493A / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States