Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) frequently aggregate due to shared pathophysiological mechanisms, either as sequential steps in the same causal pathway or as common results of the same exposures, leading to a high prevalence of disease co-occurrence, a phenomenon known as multimorbidity. Multimorbidity is a patient-centered concept where all morbidities are regarded of equal importance irrespective of whether they started before or after any other disease in question. Rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) are among the most prevalent groups of NCDs, and probably due to their high incidence and low case fatality, they are highly susceptible to multimorbidity. Complex patients, such as some of those with multimorbidity, are nowadays the norm, implying a growing concern that clinical practice guidelines fail to adequately address the care of complex patients. The ramifications of suffering from multimorbidity unfold for each patient, within their social, educational, cultural, behavioral, economic, and environmental contexts, which in turn affect disease management.
Part of the book: An Overview and Management of Multiple Chronic Conditions