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Approved research

Exploring multimorbidity in UK Biobank ? patterns of illness reporting and effects of comorbidity and multimorbidity on health outcomes

Principal Investigator: Dr Barbara Nicholl
Approved Research ID: 14151
Approval date: November 1st 2015

Lay summary

Our  aim is to determine the extent and patterns of morbidity reporting and treatment use, and to investigate the impact of comorbidity, multimorbidity and polypharmacy on healthcare outcomes. We will also investigate prognostic factors and the specific impact of having chronic pain and/or depression on individuals with chronic illness.  Research questions include but are not limited to:

- What are the patterns of morbidity reporting? 

- What are the patterns of polypharmacy reporting among people with co/multimorbidity?

- What are health related outcomes of people with co/multimorbidity and do these vary by combination of conditions, e.g. pain and depression?

Work already published under the current project scope has shown that understanding further upstream risk factors for multimorbidity, such as socioeconomic deprivation and health behaviours (e.g., attending medical appointments, physical activity levels, social participation levels), is crucial for prevention but also to understanding how multimorbidity itself impacts the association between risk factors and health outcomes. Multimorbidity is often overlooked as a confounding factor. Therefore, a further aim now is to estimate the associations between these risk factors and wider health outcomes while controlling for multimorbidity. Examples of potential research questions related to this aim include:

-             What are the patterns of association between social isolation and loneliness and adverse health outcomes whilst adjusting for number of long-term conditions?

-             What are the patterns of association between health behaviours, socioeconomic position, and adverse health outcomes after controlling for multimorbidity?