With the number of centenarians increasing exponentially in Spain, a deeper knowledge of their socio-demographic, clinical, and healthcare use characteristics is important to better understand the health profile of the very elderly.
We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional observational study in the EpiChron Cohort (Aragón, Spain) aimed at analyzing the socio-demographic, clinical, drug use and healthcare use characteristics of 1680 centenarians during 2011–2015, using data from electronic health records and clinical-administrative databases.
Spanish centenarians (79.1% women) had 101.6 years on average. Approximately 80% of centenarians suffered from multimorbidity, with an average of 4.0 chronic conditions; 50% were exposed to polypharmacy, with an average of 4.8 medications; only 6% of centenarians were free of chronic diseases and only 7% were not on medication. Centenarians presented a cardio-cerebrovascular pattern in which hypertension, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease and dementia were the most frequent conditions. Primary care was the most frequently visited healthcare level (79% of them), followed by medical specialist consultations (23%), hospitalizations (13%), and emergency service use (9%).
Multimorbidity is the rule rather than the exception in Spanish centenarians. Addressing medical care in the very elderly from a holistic geriatric view is critical in order to preserve their health, and avoid the negative effects of polypharmacy.
polypharmacy, multimorbidity, chronic disease, centenarians
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