Understanding the High Prevalence of Low-Prevalence Chronic Disease Combinations: Databases and Methods for Research. 5. Characterizing the MCC Literature on Prevalence and Patterns of Chronic Disease Combinations (Study Question #1)


What are the findings from MCC research related to prevalence and patterns of chronic disease combinations, health care utilization and cost, with particular attention to addressing less prevalent combinations of chronic conditions (i.e., the long tail)?

For decades, chronic disease research has focused on studying prevalence, patterns, and the health and healthcare impacts of individual chronic conditions. However, the field of chronic disease research is currently evolving from a single disease focus to a paradigm that places emphasis on the importance of studying multiple chronic conditions (MCC). The shift in priorities is due to growing awareness of the compounding impacts of MCC on patients’ health, the United States healthcare system and society. As a result, MCC patients are becoming a focus of chronic disease researchers and are being targeted by providers and health plans for intervention.

Below we characterize the research that has been conducted on MCC to date. Based on the findings from the literature review, key informant interviews, and TAG meetings, we summarized MCC research according to three broad topic areas:

  • Prevalent combinations of MCC
  • Chronic condition clusters and co-occurring conditions
  • Less prevalent combinations of MCC

We provide a brief introduction to each of these research areas and describe some of the findings that have been published to date.

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"rpt_LowPrevMCCData.pdf" (pdf, 1.37Mb)

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