Ottawa: Middle-aged adults suffering from arthritis, heart diseases, diabetes and depression are more likely to experience disability and limited involvement in society, a study has found.
According to the study, physical and mental chronic conditions, alone and in combination, were strongly associated with disability and social participation restrictions.
However, the impact of these combinations of conditions differed by gender and age.
"What this research shows is that depending on your age and sex, the specific chronic diseases most highly associated with disability in the population, differ," said Lauren Griffith, Associate Professor, McMaster University in the study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
The study found that arthritis was consistently associated with disability for men and women across most age groups. In middle-aged adults (45-54 years), depression and arthritis were most often associated with disability and social participation restrictions, especially in women.
Compared to women, combinations of chronic conditions that included diabetes and heart disease were stronger drivers of disability in men, especially in the younger age group (45-54 years).
To conduct the study, the research team analysed population-based data from more than 15,000 participants aged 45 to 85 years.
While the association between single chronic conditions and disability is well documented, there is little research examining the combination of both physical and mental chronic conditions on disability and social participation.
The researchers concluded that knowing which chronic conditions are associated with greater disability and social participation limitations may help clinicians to target treatment strategies for patients.