Multimorbidity in Finnish and Swedish speaking Finns; association with daily habits and socioeconomic status – Nordic EpiLung cross-sectional study

Prev Med Rep. 2021 Feb 23;22:101338. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101338. eCollection 2021 Jun.

ABSTRACT

Multimorbidity is an emerging public health priority. This study aims to assess the role of lifestyle and socioeconomic status in the prevalence of multimorbidity and chronic diseases by using two language groups that are part of the same genetic subgroup but differ by daily habits. We conducted a cross-sectional survey in 2016 with randomly selected population sample with 4173 responders (52.3%) aged 20-69 years in Western Finland. We included 3864 Finnish participants with Swedish (28.1%) or Finnish (71.9%) as a native language. We used a questionnaire to assess participants’ chronic diseases and lifestyle. We determined multimorbidity as a disease count ≥ 2. Finnish speakers were more likely to have a diagnosis of COPD, heart failure, diabetes, reflux disease, chronic kidney failure, and painful conditions than Swedish speakers. The prevalence of multimorbidity was higher for Finnish speakers in the age group of 60-69 years (41.0% vs. 32.0%, p = 0.018) than Swedish speakers. A higher proportion of Finnish speakers smoked, were obese, inactive, and had lower socioeconomic status compared to Swedish speakers. All these factors, in addition to age and female sex, were significant risk factors for multimorbidity. Prevalence of multimorbidity was different in two language groups living in the same area and was associated with differences in lifestyle factors such as smoking, physical inactivity and obesity.

PMID:33732608 | PMC:PMC7937573 | DOI:10.1016/j.pmedr.2021.101338