Multimorbidity patterns and associations with functional limitations among an aging population in prison

Madison L. Gates, Elizabeth G. Hunter, Vivian Dicks, Peace N. Jessa, Veronica Walker, Wonsuk Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objectives: Co-occurring chronic diseases are associated with functional limitations, particularly for the aging population ≥50 years old. Aging offenders (individual who are imprisoned) tend to have greater prevalence of chronic, mental health, and substance use disorders compared to non-imprisoned populations. Our primary aim was to determine patterns of co-occurring conditions associated with functional limitations among aging offenders. Materials and methods: We included all male offenders from one correctional system who were ≥50 years old (n = 2270) and extracted diagnoses for chronic diseases, mental health, substance use disorders, and functional limitations from an electronic health record. We performed a principal factor analysis (PFA) to identify patterns and chi-square to determine if the multimorbid population (≥3 diagnoses) differed from peer groups in regard to functional limitations. Results: Three patterns (chronic diseases, geriatric conditions, and mental health/substance use) emerged from PFA. Functional limitations were associated with the chronic disease pattern (p =.03) where the multimorbid group compared to non-multimorbid peers had 1.5 odds, 95% CI [1.0, 2.1], for having a physical impairment. The geriatric (p =.10) and mental health/substance use disorders (p =.07) patterns were not associated with having a functional limitation compared to the population without multiple diagnoses. Controlling for multimorbidity, functional limitations, and overlapping patterns, increasing age was the only significant factor (p =.02) associated with having a physical impairment. Conclusion: The chronic disease pattern was consistent with investigations that included non-imprisoned populations. However, the geriatric pattern was not significant, which was unexpected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-123
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Chronic disease
  • Corrections
  • Disability
  • Multimorbidity
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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