Journal of Primary Health Care Journal of Primary Health Care Society
Journal of The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners

Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.


Tim Stokes , Mayur Azam , Fiona Doolan-Noble


INTRODUCTION: Multimorbidity is a major issue in primary health care. We aimed to determine the prevalence of multimorbidity and polypharmacy in relation to age, sex and socioeconomic deprivation in Māori and Pacific patients. METHODS: A cross-sectional study using data manually extracted from electronic medical records was conducted using a stratified random sample of Māori and Pacific patients aged over 35 enrolled with a large urban Dunedin general practice (list size 17350). We analysed the data in terms of the number and type of morbidities, and prevalence of multimorbidity and polypharmacy in relation to age, sex and socioeconomic deprivation. RESULTS: 52.5% (95% CI 44.5-60.4) of Māori and 64.3% (95% CI 51.9-75.4) of Pacific patients had multimorbidity, 22.8% (95% CI 16.6-30.1) of Māori and 10.0% (95% CI 4.1-19.5) of Pacific patients had physical and mental health co-morbidity. 13.6% (95% CI 8.7-19.8) of Māori and 32.9% (95% CI 22.1—45.1) of Pacific patients had polypharmacy. The prevalence of multimorbidity in both Māori and Pacific patients increased with age and with increasing levels of socioeconomic deprivation. The eight most prevalent chronic conditions in both Māori and Pacific patients were obesity, anxiety and/or depression, hypertension, asthma and/or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, gout, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. CONCLUSION: The high prevalence of multimorbidity in Māori and Pacific patients requires the New Zealand health system to both deliver culturally competent primary health care and to re-orientate health care delivery around multimorbidity.

HC17046  Accepted 04 December 2017

© CSIRO 2017