Multimorbidity and patterns of chronic conditions in a primary care population in Switzerland: a cross-sectional study.

TitreMultimorbidity and patterns of chronic conditions in a primary care population in Switzerland: a cross-sectional study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsDeruaz-Luyet, A, A N'Goran, A, Senn, N, Bodenmann, P, Pasquier, J, Widmer, D, Tandjung, R, Rosemann, T, Frey, P, Streit, S, Zeller, A, Haller, DM, Excoffier, S, Burnand, B, Herzig, L
JournalBMJ Open
Date Published2017 Jul 02
Mots-clés80 and over, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Chronic Disease/epidemiology, Cluster Analysis, Comorbidity, Cross-Sectional Studies, Drug Prescriptions/statistics & numerical data, Epidemiology, family medicine, General Practice/statistics & numerical data, Humans, Middle Aged, Multimorbidity, Prevalence, Primary Health Care/statistics & numerical data, Switzerland, Switzerland/epidemiology

OBJECTIVE: To characterise in details a random sample of multimorbid patients in Switzerland and to evaluate the clustering of chronic conditions in that sample.

METHODS: 100 general practitioners (GPs) each enrolled 10 randomly selected multimorbid patients aged ≥18 years old and suffering from at least three chronic conditions. The prevalence of 75 separate chronic conditions from the International Classification of Primary Care-2 (ICPC-2) was evaluated in these patients. Clusters of chronic conditions were studied in parallel.

RESULTS: The final database included 888 patients. Mean (SD) patient age was 73.0 (12.0) years old. They suffered from 5.5 (2.2) chronic conditions and were prescribed 7.7 (3.5) drugs; 25.7% suffered from depression. Psychological conditions were more prevalent among younger individuals (≤66 years old). Cluster analysis of chronic conditions with a prevalence ≥5% in the sample revealed four main groups of conditions: (1) cardiovascular risk factors and conditions, (2) general age-related and metabolic conditions, (3) tobacco and alcohol dependencies, and (4) pain, musculoskeletal and psychological conditions.

CONCLUSION: Given the emerging epidemic of multimorbidity in industrialised countries, accurately depicting the multiple expressions of multimorbidity in family practices' patients is a high priority. Indeed, even in a setting where patients have direct access to medical specialists, GPs nevertheless retain a key role as coordinators and often as the sole medical reference for multimorbid patients.

Alternate URL



Alternate JournalBMJ Open
Citation Key / SERVAL ID8076
Peer reviewRefereed
PubMed ID28674127


Institut universitaire de médecine sociale et préventive
Route de la Corniche 10, 1010 Lausanne - Switzerland
+41 21 314 72 72 |

Go to top