Two new major research grants have been won by collaborations involving the School of Medicine to further develop their work in multimorbidity. Multimorbidity, when a person has two or more long term health conditions, is a key public health challenge. It is present across all age groups and is increasing.
Professor Colin McCowan, Dr Utkarsh Agrawal, Dr Adeniyi Fagbamigbe and Dr Amaya Azcoaga-Lorenzo will work with other researchers across the UK in the MRC-funded MuM-PreDICT and the NIHR-funded OPTIMAL studies over the next three years. The findings from these projects will help develop clinical strategies to better care for patients with multimorbidity.
OPTIMAL will identify how common multimorbidity is in different groups of people and how it impacts on an individual’s wellbeing. The OPTIMAL team brings together researchers from around the UK including geriatricians, pharmacists, GPs, public health consultants, data scientists, psychologists and people living with multiple long term conditions. They will explore the challenge of which are the best drugs to use in people with multimorbidity. At St Andrews, we will work with anonymised data on people living in Tayside and Fife to see whether certain drugs are better than others for people with multiple long term conditions. All our findings will be made available to the wider research team to use on their own population data sets and we also plan to make it available to the whole research community. Doing this makes the research better, more robust and allows others to then build on it to answer other important questions about caring for people with multimorbidity.
MuM-PreDICT will look at uncovering how multimorbidity affects pregnant women and their children. The MuM-PreDICT team includes midwives, obstetricians, GPs, public health consultants, data scientists, psychologists and women with multiple long term conditions before and during pregnancy. The team aims to develop a deeper understanding of what makes some pregnant women more likely to have two or more long-term health conditions and how this affects them and their children. Their findings will help improve health services so they better meet the needs of women and their families.