Cardiovascular multimorbidity: the effect of ethnicity on prevalence and risk factor management
Background: Multimorbidity is common in primary care populations. Within cardiovascular disease, important differences in disease prevalence and risk factor management by ethnicity are recognised. Aim: To examine the population burden of cardiovascular multimorbidity and the management of modifiable risk factors by ethnicity. Design and setting: Cross-sectional study of general practices (148/151) in the east London primary care trusts of Tower Hamlets, City and Hackney, and Newham, with a total population size of 843 720. Method: Using MIQUEST, patient data were extracted from five cardiovascular registers. Logistic regression analysis was used to examine the risk of being multimorbid by ethnic group, and the control of risk factors by ethnicity and burden of cardiovascular multimorbidity. Results: The crude prevalence of cardiovascular multimorbidity among patients with at least one cardiovascular condition was 34%. People of non-white ethnicity are more likely to be multimorbid than groups of white ethnicity, with adjusted odds ratios of 2.04 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.94 to 2.15) for South Asians and 1.23 (95% CI = 1.18 to 1.29) for groups of black ethnicity. Achievement of targets for blood pressure, cholesterol, and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c) was higher for patients who were multimorbid than unimorbid. For cholesterol and blood pressure, South Asian patients achieved better control than those of white and black ethnicity. For HbA1c levels, patients of white ethnicity had an advantage over other groups as the morbidity burden increased. Conclusion: The burden of multiple disease varies by ethnicity. Risk factor management improves with increasing levels of cardiovascular multimorbidity, but clinically important differences by ethnicity remain and contribute to health inequalities.