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A bibliometric analysis of multimorbidity from 2005 to 2019

By Mohamed Ali Ag Ahmed, José Almirall, Patrice Ngangue, Marie-Eve Poitras, Martin Fortin

A bibliometric study published by our team in 2005 demonstrated that there was a large discrepancy between the prevalence of multimorbidity in the population and the number of research studies devoted to it at that time [1]. However, the interest in the topic has increased substantially and, thanks to the contributions of many researchers, our knowledge about multimorbidity is much better today than it was only a decade ago.

This time, we conducted a bibliometric analysis of publications on multimorbidity from 2005 to 2019 aiming to identify and analyze publications on the subject, including those that most influenced this field [2]. We searched for publications containing “multimorbidity” or “multi-morbidity” using the PubMed database, and identified them with the tool iCite (https://icite.od.nih.gov/). We analyzed the number of publications, total citations, the article-level metric Relative Citation Ratio (RCR), type of study, the country of the institutional affiliation of the authors, and journals with the most cited articles.

The number of publications using “multimorbidity” has continuously increased since 2005 (2005-2009: 138; 2010-2014: 823; 2015-2019: 3068). Articles with RCR at or above the 97th percentile (RCR = 7.43) were analyzed in detail (n = 104). In 34 publications of this subgroup (33%), the word multimorbidity was used but was not the subject of study. The remaining top 70 publications included 32 observational studies, 22 reviews, five guideline statements, three analysis papers, two randomized trials, three qualitative studies, two measurement development reports, and one conceptual framework development report. The publications were produced by authors from 32 countries. They were published in 37 different journals, ranging from one to four articles in the same journal.

This study showed the important progress made in accumulating knowledge on multimorbidity, with a continuous increase that included 76% of all publications only in the last quinquennium. Nonetheless, more high impact randomized trials and qualitative studies are needed in this field of research. Our study also suggests that these numbers should be taken with caution and considered a general trend because the analysis of a subgroup of publications showed that multimorbidity was not the subject of research in one third of the publications.

The article can be accessed at the following link:
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2235042X20965283

  1. Fortin M, Lapointe L, Hudon C , Vanasse A. Multimorbidity is common to family practice. Is it commonly researched? Can Fam Physician 2005;51:244-5.
  2. Ag Ahmed MA, Almirall J, Ngangue P, Poitras M-E , Fortin M. A bibliometric analysis of multimorbidity from 2005 to 2019. Journal of Comorbidity 2020;10:1-7.

Publications on multimorbidity January-April 2020

By Martin Fortin

Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period January-April 2020 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Publications on multimorbidity September-December 2019

By Martin Fortin


Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period September-December 2019 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.


Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.


All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

OUR WELCOME POST: US Deprescribing Research Network


By Cynthia Boyd and Mike Steinman

Though medications offer the capacity to extend lives, relieve symptoms, and reduce the feared consequences of disease, they can also cause bothersome and dangerous side effects, burden older adults and their caregivers, and deplete savings. The use of multiple prescription drugs among U.S. adults age 65 and older has increased from 24% in 2000 to 39% in 2012. This significant growth is attributable to a growing older population, onset of chronic disease, and increasing availability of drugs for treatment and prevention. So, how do we handle the double-edged sword that is medication-treatment? By understanding and identifying the medications that are suitable for each patient, and deprescribing those for which these harms outweigh the benefit.

What is deprescribing? Deprescribing refers to the thoughtful and systematic process of identifying problematic medications and either reducing the dose or stopping the medication in a manner that is safe, effective, and helps people maximize their health and wellness goals.

However, this process is not easy. Little is known about how to best identify which medications are prime for deprescribing, how to safely and effectively stop them, and how to engage older adults, their loved ones, clinicians, and the health system in this process in a seamless and person-centered manner.

The National Institute on Aging recognizes the need for deprescribing medications among older adults and has awarded a five-year, $6.2 million grant to the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Johns Hopkins University to establish the U.S. Deprescribing Research Network (USDeN).

Who we are and what we do – The USDeN is led by Co-Principal Investigators Michael Steinman, MD, at UCSF and the San Francisco VA Medical Center, and Cynthia Boyd, MD, MPH, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The network is comprised of a community of individuals who share the common goal of developing and disseminating high-quality evidence about deprescribing for older adults, and in doing so, helping improve medication use among older adults and the outcomes that are important to them.

The network’s key activities are designed to provide resources and create a central place for mutual learning, collaboration, building research capacity, and catalyzing work among a large and multidisciplinary group of investigators. Network activities are oriented around 4 cores and a series of working groups:

Investigator Development Core – Organizes activities to provide education and collaboration about deprescribing research, with a special focus on the needs of early-stage investigators.

Pilot and Exploratory Studies Core – Funds and supports pilot and grant planning studies related to deprescribing for older adults.

Stakeholder Engagement Core – Supports engagement of patients, caregivers, clinicians, and health system stakeholders with various activities of the network, so that the resulting research is maximally responsive to their priorities and needs.

Data and Resources Core – Provides information about prior and ongoing research on deprescribing, research resources relevant to deprescribing, and will build capacity for the use of existing electronic health record data for deprescribing research

Working Groups – Supports 4 working groups that will synthesize existing research and develop new tools for deprescribing research, including identifying high-priority targets for deprescribing, optimizing measurement tools and using electronic health data in deprescribing research, and optimizing communication around deprescribing.

We invite you to join our community of innovators by visiting us at https://deprescribingresearch.org, and following us on Twitter @DeprescribeUS. For more information contact admin@deprescribingresearch.org.

Cross-posted at https://deprescribingresearch.org/our-welcome-post-us-deprescribing-research-network/

Publications on multimorbidity May-August 2019


By Martin Fortin

Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period May-August 2019 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.

Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.

All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Journal of Comorbidity welcomes your contribution

By Martin Fortin, Susan Smith, Marjan van den Akker, Frances Mair
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We are delighted to update you on the progress of the Journal of Comorbidity. The Journal of Comorbidity is an international, peer-reviewed, open access journal, which focuses on original clinical and experimental research articles on the pathophysiology, prevention, diagnosis and management of comorbidity and multimorbidity. https://journals.sagepub.com/home/cob
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As of July 2018, the Journal of Comorbidity is published by SAGE Publishing. SAGE has a long history of supporting and nurturing interdisciplinary fields of research, and by adopting a multidisciplinary approach and challenging the boundaries of a complex issue within the medical field, JOC provides a welcome platform for the academic community within SAGE’s Open Access portfolio.
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We would like to recognize and thank Profs Jane Gunn and Stewart Mercer who have stepped down from their roles as Co-Editors-In-Chief due to other commitments and welcome our new Co-Editor-In-Chief, Prof France Mair. The following Associate Editors have also joined the editorial team: Fiona Boland, Amalia Calderón-Larrañaga, Chris Harrison, Bhautesh D. Jani and Emma Walace.
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We recognize the importance of publishing high-quality work in a timely manner, and publishing work that can be discovered by the wider community in bibliographic databases. The Journal is currently indexed in PubMed and we are building content to enable MEDLINE indexing as well as inclusion to the Web of Science.
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We are inviting all researchers, clinicians and other healthcare professionals with an interest in comorbidity/multimorbidity to submit their work to the Journal of Comorbidity. Please refer to the online author guidelines for preparing your article (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/journal-of-comorbidity/journal203523#submission-guidelines ). We are currently seeking publications – original research papers, but also critical reviews and study protocols – to continue to increase our visibility, increase access to our content, and encourage more authors at all levels of experience and expertise to publish their work on multimorbidity and co-morbidity in the journal.
With your help, we can make the Journal of Comorbidity grow, and enhance its impact in this niche field and beyond.
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We would like to thank all members of our editorial board, reviewers, readers, and our contributors, who together have shaped the journal into its current form and who have provided articles of great interest. We look forward to a continued collaboration in further developing this journal into an authoritative resource on comorbidity/multimorbidity.
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To volunteer to become a reviewer for the Journal of Comorbidity, please complete de the online registration at:  https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/cob-call-for-reviewers
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Journal of Comorbidity greatly values the work of our reviewers. In recognition of your continued support, we are pleased to announce that we have arranged with our publisher SAGE to offer you free access to all SAGE journals for 60 days upon receipt of your completed review and a 25% book discount on all SAGE books ordered online. We will send you details of how to register for online access and order books at discount as soon as you have submitted your review. We are also collaborating with Publons to give you the recognition you deserve for your peer review contributions. On Publons you can effortlessly track, verify and showcase your review work and expertise without compromising anonymity. Sign up ( https://publons.com/home/ ) now for free so when you complete any reviews they can be instantly added to your profile. We can also provide reviewer certificates upon request.

Publications on multimorbidity January-April 2019


By Martin Fortin

Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period January-April 2019 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.

Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.

All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Publications on multimorbidity September – December 2018

By Martin Fortin
Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period September – December 2018 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.

Articles from a special edition of the Journal of Internal Medicine

By Martin Roland
Following an international symposium on multimorbidity held in Stockholm in 2018, the following papers have been published this month in a special edition of the Journal of Internal Medicine. They’re excellent reviews and worth a read.
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Calderón‐Larrañaga A & L. Fratiglioni L  Multimorbidity research at the crossroads: developing the scientific evidence for clinical practice and health policy  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joim.12872
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Calderón‐Larrañaga A et al Multimorbidity and functional impairment–bidirectional interplay, synergistic effects and common pathways  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joim.12843
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Muth C et al. Evidence supporting the best clinical management of patients with multimorbidity and polypharmacy: a systematic guideline review and expert consensus  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joim.12842
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Valderas JM et al Quality of care assessment for people with multimorbidity  https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/joim.12881

Publications on multimorbidity May – August 2018

By Martin Fortin
Our search for papers on multimorbidity that were published during the period May – Agust 2018 has been completed. As in previous searches, we have prepared a PDF file that can be accessed following this link.
Probably, there are some publications that were not detected by our search strategy using the terms “multimorbidity”, “multi-morbidity” and the expression “multiple chronic diseases” in PubMed (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed), but we are sure that most publications on the subject are included in the list.
All references are also included in our library. Feel free to share with anyone interested in multimorbidity.