Associations between multimorbidity and glycaemia (HbA1c) in people with type 2 diabetes: cross-sectional study in Australian general practice

Chiang, J. I., Furler, J., Mair, F. , Jani, B. D. , Nicholl, B. I. , Thuraisingam, S. and Manski-Nankervis, J.-A. (2020) Associations between multimorbidity and glycaemia (HbA1c) in people with type 2 diabetes: cross-sectional study in Australian general practice. BMJ Open, 10(11), e039625. (doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-039625) (PMID:33243798) (PMCID:PMC7692835)

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Objectives: To explore the prevalence of multimorbidity as well as individual and combinations of long-term conditions (LTCs) in people with type 2 diabetes (T2D) attending Australian general practice, using electronic health record (EHR) data. We also examine the association between multimorbidity condition count (total/concordant(T2D related)/discordant(unrelated)) and glycaemia (glycated haemoglobin, HbA1c). Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Australian general practice. Participants: 69 718 people with T2D with a general practice encounter between 2013 and 2015 captured in the MedicineInsight database (EHR Data from 557 general practices and >3.8 million Australian patients). Primary and secondary outcome measures: Prevalence of multimorbidity, individual and combinations of LTCs. Multivariable linear regression models used to examine associations between multimorbidity counts and HbA1c (%). Results: Mean (SD) age 66.42 (12.70) years, 46.1% female and mean (SD) HbA1c 7.1 (1.4)%. More than 90% of participants with T2D were living with multimorbidity. Discordant conditions were more prevalent (83.4%) than concordant conditions (69.9 %). The three most prevalent discordant conditions were: painful conditions (55.4%), dyspepsia (31.6%) and depression (22.8%). The three most prevalent concordant conditions were hypertension (61.4%), coronary heart disease (17.1%) and chronic kidney disease (8.5%). The three most common combinations of conditions were: painful conditions and hypertension (38.8%), painful conditions and dyspepsia (23.1%) and hypertension and dyspepsia (22.7%). We found no associations between any multimorbidity counts (total, concordant and discordant) or combinations and HbA1c. Conclusions: Multimorbidity was common in our cohort of people with T2D attending Australian general practice, but was not associated with glycaemia. Although we did not explore mortality in this study, our results suggest that the increased mortality in those with multimorbidity and T2D observed in other studies may not be linked to glycaemia. Interestingly, discordant conditions were more prevalent than concordant conditions with painful conditions being the second most common comorbidity. Better understanding of the implications of different patterns of multimorbidity in people with T2D will allow more effective tailored care.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Family Medical Care Education and Research (FMCER) Grant 2017 (FMC17a 565484).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jani, Dr Bhautesh and Chiang, Mr Jason and Nicholl, Dr Barbara and Mair, Professor Frances
Authors: Chiang, J. I., Furler, J., Mair, F., Jani, B. D., Nicholl, B. I., Thuraisingam, S., and Manski-Nankervis, J.-A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Health & Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:BMJ Open
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN (Online):2044-6055
Published Online:26 November 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in BMJ Open 10(11): e039625
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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