Physical-mental multimorbidity in a large primary health care population in Stockholm County, Sweden


Multimorbidity of mental and physical disorders may be common. Our objectives were to estimate the prevalence of mental disorders and determine physical-mental multimorbidity relationships adjusted for sex and age within a primary care population in Region Stockholm, Sweden.


From 2.4 million Region Stockholm inhabitants, we included adult patients with ≥ 1 primary care consultation from 2013 through 2017. We clustered 40 physical diagnoses into 9 categories and grouped mental disorders into mild-moderate (i.e., depression, anxiety, stress disorder, sleep disturbance) or severe (i.e., bipolar disorder, schizophrenia).


Of 1 105 065 patients, mean age was 49 years, 56% were females, and nearly one-third had a mental disorder (97% mild-moderate). Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) for mild-moderate and severe mental disorders were highest in patients with alcohol abuse (AOR=3.7, 95% CI 3.6-3.8; AOR=7.2, 95% CI 6.7-7.6, respectively) vs. those with no abuse. Higher odds for either level of mental comorbidity occurred in patients with chronic heart failure (CHF), cerebrovascular disease, Transient ischemic attack (TIA), Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Gastroesophageal reflux disease- irritable bowel syndrome (GERD-IBS), chronic pain, dementia, nicotine dependence, and Parkinson’s disease. For mild-moderate mental disorders, AOR in males was highest (1.45) at age 28 and was below 1.0 after age 46; AOR in females was highest (1.30) at age 38 and was below 1.0 after age 38. For severe mental disorders, AOR was below 1.0 after age 58 in males and after age 62 in females.


Physical-mental multimorbidity was common in primary care patients in Sweden, with the highest odds occurring in those who were female, younger, and/or had an alcohol abuse disorder.


Chronic disease; Epidemiology; Mental disorder; Multimorbidity; Primary health care.

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