As our population ages, multimorbidity – where someone has two or more long-term health conditions – becomes increasingly common. Multimorbidity reduces quality of life and is accelerated by deprivation, resulting in an increased burden on the NHS and the economy.
With the number of people aged 85 predicted to double in the next 20 years, multimorbidity will affect more people for longer, making it one of the biggest clinical challenges facing the NHS.
Care for people with multimorbidity is complex, as different conditions and their treatments interact in different ways. Despite this, multimorbidity is often managed through single disease-focused approaches – a disadvantage to the increasing proportion of patients with multiple, seemingly unrelated, diseases.