Physical multimorbidity, depressive symptoms, and social participation in adults over 50 years of age: findings from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: The aim of the current study was to identify specific patterns of physical multimorbidity and examine how these patterns associated with changes in social participation over time. METHODS: We used latent class analysis to identify clusters of physical multimorbidity in 11,391 older adults. Mixed effects regression models were used to assess associations between physical multimorbidity clusters and changes in social participation over 15 years. RESULTS: Four clusters of physical multimorbidity were identified. All physical multimorbidity clusters were associated with a reduction in cultural engagement (e.g. visits to theatre, cinema, museums) over time, with the strongest association seen in the complex/multisystem cluster (β = -0.26, 95% CI = -0.38 to -0.15). Similar results emerged for leisure activities. Adjusting for depressive symptoms fully attenuated some associations. All physical multimorbidity clusters were associated with an increase in civic participation over time. CONCLUSIONS: Physical multimorbidity reduced some aspects of social participation over time, with specific combinations of conditions having increased risk of reductions. UNLABELLED: Supplemental data for this article is available online at


  • Ronaldson, Amy
  • Arias de la Torre, Jorge
  • Bendayan, Rebecca
  • Yadegarfar, Mohammad E
  • Rhead, Rebecca
  • Douiri, Abdel
  • Armstrong, David
  • Hatch, Stephani
  • Hotopf, Matthew
  • Dregan, Alex

publication date

  • January 2, 2023