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Prevalence of Multiple Chronic Conditions Up Among Veterans

TUESDAY, Feb. 23, 2021 -- The prevalence of multiple chronic conditions (MCC) is higher for male and female veterans versus nonveterans, according to a study published online Feb. 23 in the National Health Statistics Reports, a publication from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Peter Boersma, M.P.H., from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, and colleagues used data from the 2015 to 2018 National Health Interview Survey to estimate the prevalence of MCC among adults aged 25 years and older by veteran status and sex.

The researchers found that for both men and women, among adults aged 25 years and older, the age-adjusted prevalence of MCC was higher among veterans versus nonveterans (22.2 versus 17.0 percent for men aged 25 to 64 years; 66.9 versus 61.9 percent for men aged 65 years and older; 25.4 versus 19.6 percent for women aged 25 to 64 years; 74.1 versus 61.8 percent among women aged 65 years and older). The prevalence of MCC remained higher among veterans versus nonveterans for both men and women following stratification by age and adjustment for selected sociodemographic characteristics. These differences were reduced but remained statistically significant, with the exception of men aged 65 years and older, after further adjustment for smoking status and weight status.

"These results may inform efforts to improve ... veterans' health and better serve their health care needs, as MCC in adults is associated with increased mortality, increased health care spending, and decreased health-related quality of life," the authors write.

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