Multimorbidity and mortality: A 15-year longitudinal registry-based nationwide Danish population study

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Background: Knowledge about prevalent and deadly combinations of multimorbidity is needed.
Objective: To determine the nationwide prevalence of multimorbidity and estimate mortality for the most prevalent combinations of 1-5 diagnosis groups. Furthermore, to assess the excess mortality of the combination of two groups compared to the product of mortality associated with the single groups.
Design: A prospective cohort study using Danish registries and including 3 986 209 people aged ≥18 years on 1 January, 2000. Multimorbidity was defined as having diagnoses from at least two of ten diagnosis groups: lung, musculoskeletal, endocrine, mental, cancer, neurological, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, kidney, and sensory organs. Logistic regression (odds ratios, OR) and Ratio of ORs (ROR) were used to study mortality and excess mortality.
Results: Prevalence of multimorbidity was 7.1% in the Danish population. The most prevalent combination (0.4%) was the musculoskeletal-cardiovascular which had double the mortality (OR 2.03) compared to persons not belonging to any of the diagnosis groups but showed no excess mortality (ROR 0.97). The neurological-cancer combination had the highest mortality (OR 6.35), was less prevalent (0.07%), and had no excess mortality (ROR 0.94). Cardiovascular-lung was moderately prevalent (0.2%), had high mortality (OR 5.75), and had excess mortality (ROR 1.18). Endocrine-kidney had high excess mortality (ROR 1.81) and cancer-mental had low excess mortality (ROR 0.66). Mortality increased with the number of groups.
Conclusions: All combinations had increased mortality risk with some of them having up to a six-fold increased risk. Mortality increased with the number of diagnosis groups. Most combinations did not increase mortality above that expected, i.e. were additive rather than synergistic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
JournalJournal of Comorbidity
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ID: 218655977