UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine; Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Medicine; Meyers Primary Care Institute; Department of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases | Geriatrics | Health Services Administration | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Holistic care models emphasize management of comorbid conditions to improve patient-reported outcomes in treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF). We investigated relations between multimorbidity, physical frailty, and self-rated health (SRH) among older adults with AF.

METHODS: Patients (n = 1235) with AF aged 65 years and older were recruited from five medical centers in Massachusetts and Georgia between 2015 and 2018. Ten previously diagnosed cardiometabolic and 8 non-cardiometabolic conditions were assessed from medical records. Physical Frailty was assessed with the Cardiovascular Health Study frailty scale. SRH was categorized as either "excellent/very good", "good", and "fair/poor". Separate multivariable ordinal logistic models were used to examine the associations between multimorbidity and SRH, physical frailty and SRH, and multimorbidity and physical frailty.

RESULTS: Overall, 16% of participants rated their health as fair/poor and 14% were frail. Hypertension (90%), dyslipidemia (80%), and heart failure (37%) were the most prevalent cardiometabolic conditions. Arthritis (51%), anemia (31%), and cancer (30%), the most common non-cardiometabolic diseases. After multivariable adjustment, patients with higher multimorbidity were more likely to report poorer health status (Odds Ratio (OR): 2.15 [95% CI: 1.53-3.03], > /= 8 vs 1-4; OR: 1.37 [95% CI: 1.02-1.83], 5-7 vs 1-4), as did those with more prevalent cardiometabolic and non-cardiometabolic conditions. Patients who were pre-frail (OR: 1.73 [95% CI: 1.30-2.30]) or frail (OR: 6.81 [95% CI: 4.34-10.68]) reported poorer health status. Higher multimorbidity was associated with worse frailty status.

CONCLUSIONS: Multimorbidity and physical frailty were common and related to SRH. Our findings suggest that holistic management approaches may influence SRH among older patients with AF.


Comorbid diseases, Functional status, Geriatric cardiology, Well-being

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

DOI of Published Version



Abu HO, Saczynski J, Mehawej J, Paul T, Awad H, Bamgbade BA, Pierre-Louis IC, Tisminetzky M, Kiefe CI, Goldberg RJ, McManus DD. Multimorbidity, physical frailty, and self-rated health in older patients with atrial fibrillation. BMC Geriatr. 2020 Sep 11;20(1):343. doi: 10.1186/s12877-020-01755-w. PMID: 32917137; PMCID: PMC7488548. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

BMC geriatrics

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.