Adults in the US are at an increasing risk of developing multiple chronic diseases such as heart conditions or diabetes. A study has found that the number of Americans with multiple conditions is increasing.
The study found that at least one in four adults have a renal, cardiac or metabolic condition. In addition, at least one in ten people have had multiple conditions. The leading causes of mortality and morbidity include renal, metabolic or cardiac conditions.
In addition, the risk of these conditions or multiple morbidities may increase with age- such that one in three adults aged 65 years or older have a diagnosis of at least one condition. Whereas, one out of four had overlapping conditions.
The underlying mechanisms that contribute to the co-existence of these conditions can be targeted by the existing medications. However, the medications are not used by those in need as frequently as required.
The study highlighted the significant rise in the incidence of these conditions within the past two years. The urgent need for addressing the situation was also emphasized through the study.
The findings were perceived to be concerning due to the alarming rise in the prevalence and the high levels of under-treatment. As per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), chronic conditions have become more prevalent since 1999.
The study compared the trends against NHANES and the health data collected between 1999 and 2002. It found that from 2015 to 2020, at least 23.6% of the participants had at least one cardiac, renal or metabolic condition.
Type II diabetes and chronic kidney disease were found to be the most common co-morbid conditions, followed by cardiovascular and type II disease or cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease.
The burden of these conditions were the most among the non-hispanic, African American individuals. Individuals in this populace were more prone to disparities due to the difference in socioeconomic status, unemployment or the absence of a high school degree.