Multiple Long-Term Conditions

Until recently, syndromes involving multiple long-term conditions (MLTC) also known as multimorbidity, were overlooked as causes of early death and disability. Most epidemiological, mechanistic, and therapeutic research focuses on single diseases and not the clusters in which many exist. Understanding which conditions cluster and why has potentially important implications for disease prevention and treatment. The COVID-19 pandemic has bought this into sharp focus, particularly in the NW London region, given the large impact of non-communicable conditions (NCDs) such as obesity, chronic kidney disease, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer on susceptibility to infection, hospitalisation, admission to intensive care, and death. Two recent reports chaired by Theme members highlighted three key issues concerning MLTC: (1) The lack of data on the prevalence and impact of common MLTCs; (2) The mechanisms that link diseases not otherwise known to be causally related; and (3) Strategies for the management of common MLTCs (Elliott-AMS-2021; MacMahon-AMS-2018).

The MLTC Theme will address these three issues in linked research programmes: cardiometabolic diseases, infectious diseases and common mental health conditions, including dementia, depression and addiction. Research in this area will ensure that the perspectives of patients, carers and healthcare providers are taken into full account in the prioritisation of the disease clusters to be studied. This Theme will provide evidence that will inform the rapid development and deployment of strategies for the prevention and treatment of MLTC of various kinds.

Key Individuals
  • Professor Ioanna Tzoulaki
    Professor Ioanna Tzoulaki
    Theme Lead, MLTC
  • Professor Stephen MacMahon
    Professor Stephen MacMahon
    Theme Lead, MLTC
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