Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Long terms trends of multimorbidity and association with physical activity in older English population
Authors: Dhalwani, Nafeesa N.
O'Donovan, Gary
Zaccardi, Francesco
Hamer, M.
Yates, Thomas
Davies, Melanie J.
Khunti, Kamlesh
First Published: 19-Jan-2016
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity , 2016, 13 (1)
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Multimorbidity has become one of the main challenges in the recent years for patients, health care providers and the health care systems globally. However, literature describing the burden of multimorbidity in the elderly population, especially longitudinal trends is very limited. 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. Therefore, we aimed to assess the longitudinal trends of multimorbidity and the association between multimorbidity and physical activity in a nationally representative cohort of the English population aged ≥50 years between 2002 and 2013. METHODS: We used data on 15,688 core participants from six waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, with complete information on physical activity. Self-reported physical activity was categorised as inactive, mild, moderate and vigorous levels of physical activity. We calculated the number of morbidities and the prevalence of multimorbidity (more than 2 chronic conditions) between 2002 and 2013 overall and by levels of self-reported physical activity. We estimated the odds ratio (OR) and 95 % confidence intervals (CI) for multimorbidity by each category of physical activity, adjusting for potential confounders. RESULTS: There was a progressive decrease over time in the proportion of participants without any chronic conditions (33.9 % in 2002/2003 vs. 26.8 % in 2012/2013). In contrast, the prevalence of multimorbidity steadily increased over time (31.7 % in 2002/2003 vs. 43.1 % in 2012/2013). Compared to the physically inactive group, the OR for multimorbidity was 0.84 (95 % CI 0.78 to 0.91) in mild, 0.61 (95 % CI 0.56 to 0.66) in moderate and 0.45 (95 % CI 0.41 to 0.49) in the vigorous physical activity group. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated an inverse dose-response association between levels of physical activity and multimorbidity, however, given the increasing prevalence of multimorbidity over time, there is a need to explore causal associations between physical activity and multimorbidity and its impact as a primary prevention strategy to prevent the occurrence of chronic conditions later in life and reduce the burden of multimorbidity.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12966-016-0330-9
eISSN: 1479-5868
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2016 Dhalwani et al. Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cardiovascular Sciences

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
s12966-016-0330-9.pdfPublished (publisher PDF)907.4 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.