Most primary care patients have more than one chronic condition
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 20, 2005
Nearly all patients presenting to primary care physicians have more than one chronic condition, and about half have more than five medical conditions, according to a study published in the May/June Annals of Family Medicine. The most common conditions were hypertension, high cholesterol and rheumatologic diseases.
Researchers reviewed the records of 21 family physicians in Quebec, Canada, and found that 90% of patients had at least two chronic medical conditions, and 50% had more than five. The prevalence also increased with age -- 68% of those between 18 and 44 had at least two conditions; 99% of those older than 65 did.
The authors concluded that guidelines intended for those with a single disease would apply to very few patients and advocated that clinical trials include those with co-morbidities to have more relevance to real-world medical practice.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2005/06/20/hlbf0620.htm.