Institute for Ageing

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New review highlights the challenge of multimorbidities in older people

Research experts from the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) have worked alongside colleagues from Canada and Wales to produce a review on the current approaches to the complex clinical challenge of multimorbidities in the older population.

The review is led by Dr Alison Yarnall, Clinical Fellow at Newcastle University. Supported by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, Dr Yarnall and colleagues examined the current landscape and have concluded that there is insufficient research on relationships between certain long-term conditions, multimorbidity, frailty and disability, specifically involving people with neurodegenerative disease.

The review calls for the development of a cohesive research strategy on how to meet the needs of older people with multimorbidity. Not only is there a pressing clinical need for more detailed research in this area, it has also been cited as a propriety research area by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). Through designated funding calls and projects, the NIHR is investing heavily in the healthcare of older people.

Part of this research is carried out through support from the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, which has the aim of improving lives through world-class research in ageing and long-term conditions. Examining long-term conditions such as; dementia, liver disease, musculoskeletal disease, neuromuscular disease and skin and oral diseases, all under the umbrella of ageing syndromes, allows the NIHR Newcastle BRC to focus scientific research into clinical improvements for England’s growing ageing population. Read more about the research themes at the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre

Dr Yarnall commented: “The review has provided suitable evidence for the need for more targeted research into the complexities faced by multimorbidity in older people.

As we are living longer, we’re more likely to experience more than one condition that affects our daily lives and we need to adapt out health care system to that it is prepared for this growing clinical challenge.”

The next step is to put together a grant to improve the lives of future older people living with multimorbidity, which will involve the team at Newcastle BRC in addition to national and international collaborators.

Click here to read the recent review, New horizons in multimorbidity in older adults

published on: 8 November 2017