Multiple long-term conditions research
Guy's and St Thomas' Charity has published research into multiple long-term conditions in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark, in a bid to help understand how this growing issue unfolds in urban, diverse and deprived areas.
Along with understanding general prevalence and distribution of multiple long-term conditions locally, the research has also considered the impact of people's background and context, including ethnicity and deprivation, on the likelihood of developing multiple long-term conditions and rate of onset.
Insights from the report showed that:
- Multiple long-term conditions are not just a problem of old age – in Lambeth and Southwark more than a third of people with multiple long-term conditions are middle aged or younger
- Focusing on individual diseases misses the combined impact on the person – our current health system was designed to treat single diseases rather than complex combinations. For example depression is more likely to be diagnosed at a younger age and is a common precursor to diabetes, morbid obesity and chronic pain
- People's background and social context play an important role – evidence suggests that social and environmental context, as well as ethnicity and cultural background may impact on if, and when, people develop multiple conditions, and which conditions those are.