Longitudinal Associations between Multimorbidities and Patient-Reported Quality of Life

Eileen K. Graham*, Olivia E. Atherton, Daniel K. Mroczek, Chloe McGhee, Lily Pieramici, Marquita Lewis-Thames, Laura Curtis, David Cella, Lauren Opsasnick, Rebecca Lovett, Rachel O'Conor, Michael S. Wolf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The global prevalence of multimorbidity is increasing as the population ages. As individuals get older, they are likely to develop multiple chronic conditions, and nearly two-thirds of older adults in the United States are estimated to experience 2 or more chronic conditions. The present preregistered study examined whether multimorbidity was associated with longitudinal changes in health-related quality of life (i.e., anxiety, depression, and physical function) and whether these associations were moderated by sociodemographic factors (i.e., sex, race, marital status, income, insurance, and education). Methods: Data come from the Health Literacy and Cognitive Function Among Older Adults Longitudinal Study (LitCog), a prospective cohort study of English-speaking older adults (N=900). At each measurement occasion, participants reported anxiety, depression, and physical function using the Patient Reported Outcomes Information System, chronic conditions, and sociodemographic characteristics. We employed multilevel growth models to estimate changes in health-related quality of life, with multimorbidities as a predictor and sociodemographics as covariates. Results: Results indicated that individuals with multiple chronic conditions reported persistently high levels of anxiety and depression, and worse physical function. We found evidence for racial health disparities, such that individuals who identified as non-White experienced worse health-related quality of life as multimorbidities increased, relative to White participants. Discussion: These results contribute to the current conversation about the long-term impacts of structural and systemic barriers experienced by minoritized groups. We further discuss the public health implications of multimorbidity in older adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbergbad173
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume79
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2024

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • chronic conditions
  • depression
  • patient-reported outcomes
  • physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science

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