Multimorbidity, the presence of two or more chronic conditions in an individual, presents a major challenge for meeting the health care needs of older adults. This study advances understanding of multiple chronic conditions by using local colocation quotients to reveal spatial associations for five chronic conditions (arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and pulmonary disease) in a statewide panel of older adults in New Jersey. Among adults with three or more conditions, large concentrations of Arthritis-Heart Disease-Pulmonary Disease, Arthritis-Hypertension-Pulmonary Disease, and Diabetes-Heart Disease-Hypertension were observed, each triad located in different regions of the state. Individuals with other triads of conditions, in contrast, were distributed among all older adults in the sample as expected with no areas of local concentration. The study provides gerontologists with a new and effective method for uncovering geographical patterns in combinations of chronic conditions among the populations they serve, thereby enabling more effective interventions.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology