Comparison of Disease Clusters in Two Elderly Populations Hospitalized in 2008 and 2010
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BACKGROUND: As chronicity represents one of the major challenges in the healthcare of aging populations, the understanding of how chronic diseases distribute and co-occur in this part of the population is needed. OBJECTIVES: The aims of this study were to evaluate and compare patterns of diseases identified with cluster analysis in two samples of hospitalized elderly. METHODS: Data were obtained from the multicenter 'Registry Politerapie SIMI (REPOSI)' that included people aged 65 or older hospitalized in internal medicine and geriatric wards in Italy during 2008 and 2010. The study sample from the first wave included 1,411 subjects enrolled in 38 hospitals wards, whereas the second wave included 1,380 subjects in 66 wards located in different regions of Italy. To analyze patterns of multimorbidity, a cluster analysis was performed including the same diseases (19 chronic conditions with a prevalence >5%) collected at hospital discharge during the two waves of the registry. RESULTS: Eight clusters of diseases were identified in the first wave of the REPOSI registry and six in the second wave. Several diseases were included in similar clusters in the two waves, such as malignancy and liver cirrhosis; anemia, gastric and intestinal diseases; diabetes and coronary heart disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and prostate hypertrophy. CONCLUSION: These findings strengthened the idea of an association other than by chance of diseases in the elderly population.
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