Intrinsic capacity and multimorbidity predicting incident disability–Insights from the I-Lan Longitudinal Aging Study

Wei Ju Lee*, Li Ning Peng, Ming Hsien Lin, Ching Hui Loh, Fei Yuan Hsiao, Liang Kung Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This longitudinal cohort study aimed to examine the effect of intrinsic capacity (IC) and multimorbidity on the development of new disabilities. Methods: The study utilized data from 1,009 participants without disabilities from the I-Lan Longitudinal Aging Study. Multivariable logistic regressions were employed to assess the predictive capability of IC (ranging from 0 to 100) and multimorbidity for incident disability over a 7-year follow-up period. Results: Both low IC (OR 4.9, 95 % CI 2.1–11.1, p < 0.001) and multimorbidity (OR 4.5, 95 % CI 2.2–9.2, p < 0.001) significantly predicted incident disability over the 7-year period. A one-point increase in IC reduced the risk of incident disability by 10 % (OR 0.9, 95 % CI 0.8–0.9, p < 0.001). Among IC subdomains, both better locomotion (OR 0.96, 95 % CI 0.94–0.99, p = 0.014) and psychology (OR 0.97, 95 %CI 0.94–1.00, p = 0.049) significantly reduced the risk of incident disability. Rapid declines in IC significantly predicted incident disability (OR 4.1, 95 % CI 1.8–9.3, p = 0.001), whereas the onset of new multimorbidity or changes in the number of chronic conditions did not demonstrate a significant association with incident disability. The interaction terms between IC and multimorbidity, both categorically (low IC * multimorbidity, p = 0.959) and numerically (IC (per point) * multimorbidity, p = 0.660) were all statistically insignificant. Conclusions: IC exhibited better predictive capacity for 7-year incident disability compared to multimorbidity, so health care services targeting older adults should adopt an integrated care approach that combines both function- and disease-centric strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105357
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Disability
  • Healthy aging
  • Intrinsic capacity
  • Multimorbidity


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