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Aging, obesity, and multimorbidity in women 50 years or older: a population-based study

de S. Santos Machado, Vanessa MD, MSc; Valadares, Ana Lúcia Ribeiro MD, PhD; Costa-Paiva, Lúcia H. MD, PhD; Osis, Maria J. PhD; Sousa, Maria H. PhD; Pinto-Neto, Aarão M. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/GME.0b013e31827fdd8c
Original Articles

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 χ 2 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.

In this study multimorbidity was principally associated with aging and obesity.

From the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Campinas, Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Received September 5, 2012; revised and accepted November 26, 2012.

Funding/support: This work was supported by grant 2010/15867-1 from the São Paulo Foundation for the Support of Research.

Financial disclosure/conflicts of interest: None reported.

Address correspondence to: Ana Lúcia Ribeiro Valadares, MD, PhD, Cidade Universitária “Zeferino Vaz,” Barão Geraldo, Rua Alexandre Fleming, 101, Campinas 13083-881, SP, Brazil. E-mail:

© 2013 by The North American Menopause Society.