Multimorbidity is defined as the coexistence of multiple chronic conditions in one person. It affects the way people lead their lives and might be a heavy burden, especially for those with limited material resources. This study explores the prevalence of multimorbidity in the working population and discusses the distribution of multimorbidity in specific sub-groups. We conducted a longitudinal analysis of nationally representative data in South Korea (Korea Health Panel, 2010–2015). Generalized estimation models were applied to examine the individual effect of socioeconomic status (SES) and job-related variables. We found that about five percent of workers who initially had no or one chronic condition developed multimorbidity during within five years. About 20% of working women had multimorbidity at age 55, about 10 years earlier than working men. A higher prevalence appeared in working women with school-age children, non-standard employment, no autonomy at work, or unskilled occupation. SES was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of multimorbidity in both gender after controlling for the effect of age and other covariates. Multimorbidity is a major health concern in the working population and prevention and control should be promoted in the workplace.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited