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September 12, 2007

Patterns of Prevalent Major Chronic Disease Among Older Adults in the United States

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(10):1158-1162. doi:10.1001/jama.298.10.1160-b

To the Editor: Older adults with more than 1 chronic disease have worse functional status and self-rated health, use more health care, and die earlier than those with a single disease.1 Because evidence-based medical treatment has usually been directed toward single diseases, understanding specific patterns of multimorbidity may help develop strategies to improve clinical practice. Ignoring concomitant diseases while applying single-disease guidelines may lead to harm.2 The purpose of this study was to estimate patterns of major chronic disease co-occurrence in older adults.