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Approved Research

Multimorbidity patterns and impact of lifestyles in older adults: a longitudinal approach to address the prospective association between lifestyles and development of multimorbidity

Principal Investigator: Dr Francisco Felix Caballero
Approved Research ID: 69337
Approval date: September 14th 2021

Lay summary

Multimorbidity is defined as the co-existence of two or more chronic conditions and it is considered a proxy of biological ageing and a public health challenge. The prevalence of multimorbidity is rising, since the increment in life expectancy over recent decades has become older adults as the largest segment of the population. At the same time, the likelihood for an individual to develop several diseases at the same time has increased greatly. However, not all old people develop multimorbidity, and the determinants of this outcome are unknown. The main objectives of the proposed research project are: 1) to identify the multimorbidity patterns in an ageing population, by gender, educational level, habitat, and social support (measured as frequency of contact with family, friends, and members of the social network); 2) to examine the associations between lifestyles (i.e. habitual diet, and patterns of alcohol consumption, physical activity, sedentariness, and sleep) and biological factor, and the risk of multimorbidity over five years of follow-up; and 3) to identify how these factors are able to produce multimorbidity.

We expect to conduct this study in a period of one year, after obtaining permission from the UK-Biobank Steering Committee. The results of this study will help to understand the determinants of multimorbidity and provide evidenced-based advice for prevention and treatment of age-related outcomes. Therefore, this study is expected to improve the management of patients with multimorbidity in Primary Care and help them improve their quality of life. The results obtained in this research will be published as scientific manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals in the field of General Medicine, Epidemiology, Nutrition, and Public Health. Final reports of the work done, as well as statistical codes, will be sent to the UK-Biobank Steering Committee, together with the publications accepted.