In the search of predictors of inadequate physical activity, an investigation was conducted into the association between multimorbidity and physical activity (PA). So far the sum of diseases used as a measure of multimorbidity reveals an inverse association. How specific combinations of chronic diseases are associated with PA remains unclear. The objective of this study is to identify clusters of multimorbidity that are associated with PA. Cross-sectional data of 3,386 patients from the 2003 wave of the Dutch cohort study SMILE were used. Ward's agglomerative hierarchical clustering was executed to establish multimorbidity clusters. Chi-square statistics were used to assess the association between clusters of chronic diseases and PA, measured in compliance with the Dutch PA guideline. The highest rate of PA guideline compliance was found in patients the majority of whom suffer from liver disease, back problems, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory joint disease (62.4%). The lowest rate of PA guideline compliance was reported in patients with heart disease, respiratory disease, and diabetes mellitus (55.8%). Within the group of people with multimorbidity, those suffering from heart disease, respiratory disease, and/or diabetes mellitus may constitute a priority population as PA has proven to be effective in the prevention and cure of all three disorders.

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Journal BioMed Research International
Dörenkamp, S, Mesters, I, Schepers, J, Vos, R, van den Akker, M, Teijink, J.A.W, & de Bie, R.A. (2016). Disease Combinations Associated with Physical Activity Identified: The SMILE Cohort Study. BioMed Research International, 2016. doi:10.1155/2016/9053578