Objective: This study aims to evaluate multimorbidity and its associated factors in Brazilian women aged 50 years or older.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional, population-based study using self-reports. A total of 622 women aged 50 years or older were included. Multimorbidity was defined as two or more of the following morbidities: hypertension, osteoarthritis, cataracts, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, glaucoma, chronic bronchitis or asthma, urinary incontinence, cancer, myocardial infarction, stroke, and pulmonary emphysema. Sociodemographic, clinical, and behavioral factors were evaluated. Data were analyzed using χ2 test and Fisher’s exact test, and Poisson multiple regression analysis was performed. Prevalence ratios and their 95% CIs were calculated.
Results: In this sample, 15.8% of participants reported no morbidities, whereas 26% reported having one morbid condition and 58.2% reported multimorbidity. With respect to morbidities, 55.9% of women reported having hypertension, 33.8% reported having osteoarthritis, 24.5% reported having cataracts, 22.7% reported having diabetes, 21.3% reported having osteoporosis, 9.9% reported having glaucoma, 9.2% reported having bronchitis, 8.9% reported having urinary incontinence, and 6.8% reported having cancer, whereas 4.8% reported having had a myocardial infarction, 2.7% reported having had a stroke, and 1.8% reported having pulmonary emphysema. Multiple regression analysis showed that for each additional year of life, women increased their likelihood of multimorbidity by 3% (95% CI, 1.02-1.04). Furthermore, for each point increase (kg/m2) in their body mass index, women also increased their likelihood of multimorbidity by 3% (95% CI, 1.02-1.04).
Conclusions: Multimorbidity is principally associated with aging and obesity.