The development of multimorbidity during 16 years after diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

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Objective: The aims of this study were to (1) quantify the development and composition of multimorbidity (MM) during 16 years following the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and (2) evaluate whether the effectiveness of structured personal diabetes care differed between patients with and without MM.

Research design and methods: One thousand three hundred eighty-one patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes were randomized to receive either structured personal diabetes care or routine diabetes care. Patients were followed up for 19 years in Danish nationwide registries for the occurrence of outcomes. We analyzed the prevalence and degree of MM based on 10 well-defined disease groups. The effect of structured personal care in diabetes patients with and without MM was analyzed with Cox regression models.

Results: The proportion of patients with MM increased from 31.6% at diabetes diagnosis to 80.4% after 16 years. The proportion of cardiovascular and gastrointestinal diseases in surviving patients decreased, while, for example, musculoskeletal, eye, and neurological diseases increased. The effect of the intervention was not different between type 2 diabetes patients with or without coexisting chronic disease.

Conclusions: In general, the proportion of patients with MM increased after diabetes diagnosis, but the composition of chronic disease changed during the 16 years. We found cardiovascular and musculoskeletal disease to be the most prevalent disease groups during all 16 years of follow-up. The post hoc analysis of the intervention showed that its effectiveness was not different among patients who developed MM compared to those who continued to have diabetes alone.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Comorbidity
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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