Prevalence, survival analysis and multimorbidity of chronic diseases in the general veterinarian-attended horse population of the UK

Welsh, C. E. , Duz, M., Parkin, T. D.H. and Marshall, J. F. (2016) Prevalence, survival analysis and multimorbidity of chronic diseases in the general veterinarian-attended horse population of the UK. Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 131, pp. 137-145. (doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2016.07.011)

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The average age of the global human population is increasing, leading to increased interest in the effects of chronic disease and multimorbidity on health resources and patient welfare. It has been posited that the average age of the general veterinarian-attended horse population of the UK is also increasing, and therefore it could be assumed that chronic diseases and multimorbidity would pose an increasing risk here also. However, evidence for this trend in ageing is very limited, and the current prevalence of many chronic diseases, and of multimorbidity, is unknown. Using text mining of first-opinion electronic medical records from seven veterinary practices around the UK, Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard modelling, we were able to estimate the apparent prevalence among veterinarian-attended horses of nine chronic diseases, and to assess their relative effects on median life expectancy following diagnosis. With these methods we found evidence of increasing population age. Multimorbidity affected 1.2% of the study population, and had a significant effect upon survival times, with co-occurrence of two diseases, and three or more diseases, leading to 6.6 and 21.3 times the hazard ratio compared to no chronic disease, respectively. Laminitis was involved in 74% of cases of multimorbidity. The population of horses attended by UK veterinarians appears to be aging, and chronic diseases and their co-occurrence are common features, and as such warrant further investigation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:C.W. is funded by theAnimalWelfare Foundation (Norman Hayward Fund 2014 1 JM’).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parkin, Professor Tim and Marshall, Dr John and Welsh, Dr Claire
Authors: Welsh, C. E., Duz, M., Parkin, T. D.H., and Marshall, J. F.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Preventive Veterinary Medicine
ISSN (Online):1873-1716
Published Online:26 July 2016
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2016 The Authors
First Published:First published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine 2016
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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