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The Prevalence of Metabolic Disease Multimorbidity and Its Associations With Spending and Health Outcomes in Middle-Aged and Elderly Chinese Adults

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posted on 2021-08-02, 03:11 authored by Y Zhao, P Zhang, JT Lee, Brian OldenburgBrian Oldenburg, AV Heusden, TN Haregu, H Wang
Objective: Metabolic diseases have been a clinical challenge worldwide and a major public health issue. Very few studies from China investigated the impact of metabolic multimorbidity on healthcare and health outcomes at the national level. This study aims to examine the association of metabolic multimorbidity with health service utilization, spending, functional and mental health. Materials and Methods: This is a nationally representative cross-sectional study, utilizing the data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study in 2015, including 11,377 participants aged 45 years and older. Multivariable regression models were used to assess the association of metabolic multimorbidity with healthcare, out-of-pocket expenditure (OOPE), the activities of daily living (ADL) limitation, the instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) limitation, and depression. Results: Overall, 30.50% of total participants had metabolic multimorbidity in 2015 in China. Compared with single disease, metabolic multimorbidity were associated with the number of outpatient visits [incident rate ratio (IRR) = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.05, 1.62] and days of inpatient care (IRR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.28, 1.81). Metabolic multimorbidity was positively associated with the OOPE on outpatient care (coefficient = 82.99, 95% CI = 17.70, 148.27) and physical functional difficulties, including ADL limitation (odds ratio = 1.36, 95% CI = 1.18, 1.57). Conclusions: Metabolic multimorbidity is associated with higher levels of health-care service use, greater expenditure for outpatient care, and more difficulties in ADL among Chinese adults. China's health-care systems need to shift from single-disease models to new financing and service delivery models to effectively manage metabolic multimorbidity.


This work was supported by the Shandong Province Natural Science Foundation of China (ZR2016GQ02).


Publication Date



Frontiers in Public Health



Article Number

ARTN 658706







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