Chronic conditions on rise in people over 50: Study

London, March 1 (IANS) A team of researchers, including one of Indian origin, has found that in the last decade there has been a ten percent rise in people above 50 with more than one chronic disease.

The findings showed percentage of older people with multiple conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis steadily increased from 31.7 percent in 2002-03 to 43.1 percent in 2012-13.

“The prevalence of multimorbidity, where people have more than one chronic condition, in older adults is steadily increasing over time,” said Kamlesh Khunti from the University of Leicester in London.

“However, given the increase in multimorbidity over the past 10 years and the complex needs of these patients, clinical guidelines need to address the challenges in management of multi-morbidity and formulate best practices to guide clinical decision making for these patients,” Khunti added.

Researchers examined more than 15,000 people in England over 10 years.

The study showed there was an increasing trend in people aged over 50 developing a second or third disease adding further strain on health budgets amid a rise in long-term conditions and people living longer.

“Multimorbidity has become one of the main challenges in the recent years for patients, health care providers and the health care systems globally,” said another researcher, Nafeesa Dhalwani, in the paper published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity.

“Physical activity is recommended as one of the main lifestyle changes in the prevention and management of multiple chronic diseases worldwide, however, the evidence on its association with multimorbidity remains inconclusive,” Dhalwani said.

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