Journal Articles

Publication Date



Journal of General Internal Medicine


BACKGROUND: Multimorbidity (≥ 2 chronic diseases) is associated with greater disability and higher treatment burden, as well as difficulty coordinating self-management tasks for adults with complex multimorbidity patterns. Comparatively little work has focused on assessing multimorbidity patterns among patients seeking care in community health centers (CHCs).

OBJECTIVE: To identify and characterize prevalent multimorbidity patterns in a multi-state network of CHCs over a 5-year period.

DESIGN: A cohort study of the 2014-2019 ADVANCE multi-state CHC clinical data network. We identified the most prevalent multimorbidity combination patterns and assessed the frequency of patterns throughout a 5-year period as well as the demographic characteristics of patient panels by prevalent patterns.

PARTICIPANTS: The study included data from 838,642 patients aged ≥ 45 years who were seen in 337 CHCs across 22 states between 2014 and 2019.

MAIN MEASURES: Prevalent multimorbidity patterns of somatic, mental health, and mental-somatic combinations of 22 chronic diseases based on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Multiple Chronic Conditions framework: anxiety, arthritis, asthma, autism, cancer, cardiac arrhythmia, chronic kidney disease (CKD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), congestive heart failure, coronary artery disease, dementia, depression, diabetes, hepatitis, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hyperlipidemia, hypertension, osteoporosis, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, substance use disorder, and stroke.

KEY RESULTS: Multimorbidity is common among middle-aged and older patients seen in CHCs: 40% have somatic, 6% have mental health, and 24% have mental-somatic multimorbidity patterns. The most frequently occurring pattern across all years is hyperlipidemia-hypertension. The three most frequent patterns are various iterations of hyperlipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes and are consistent in rank of occurrence across all years. CKD-hyperlipidemia-hypertension and anxiety-depression are both more frequent in later study years.

CONCLUSIONS: CHCs are increasingly seeing more complex multimorbidity patterns over time; these most often involve mental health morbidity and advanced cardiometabolic-renal morbidity.


Middle Aged, Humans, Aged, Multimorbidity, Comorbidity, Cohort Studies, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Disease, Hypertension, Hyperlipidemias, Community Health Centers, Renal Insufficiency, Chronic, Prevalence



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