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OBJECTIVES: Hospitals attend patients with multiple chronic diseases. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of these patients, as well as their main sociodemographic and management characteristics. METHODS: We performed a descriptive study based on information from the minimum data set and a functional definition of patients with multimorbidity. Age, sex, admitting specialty, cause of admission, discharge and days of hospital stay were estimated for patients discharged from a university hospital in 2003. RESULTS: Patients with multimorbidity represented 16.9% (95% CI: 15.8-18.1%) of admissions. These patients were mainly elderly men who tended to be admitted urgently to medical specialties. Discharge to home was less frequent and days of hospital stay tended to be longer. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with multiple comorbidities have well-defined characteristics that allow them to be retrospectively identified through analysis of the minimum data set. Although nearly all services discharged these patients, most of them were discharged from medical specialties.


Journal article


Gac Sanit

Publication Date





137 - 141


Age Factors, Aged, Chronic Disease, Comorbidity, Confidence Intervals, Emergencies, Female, Hospital Departments, Hospitalization, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Sex Distribution, Spain