Temporal patterns of multi-morbidity in 570157 ischemic heart disease patients: a nationwide cohort study

Amalie D Haue, Jose J Almagro Armenteros, Peter C Holm, Robert Eriksson, Pope L Moseley, Lars V Køber, Henning Bundgaard, Søren Brunak


BACKGROUND: Patients diagnosed with ischemic heart disease (IHD) are becoming increasingly multi-morbid, and studies designed to analyze the full spectrum are few.

METHODS: Disease trajectories, defined as time-ordered series of diagnoses, were used to study the temporality of multi-morbidity. The main data source was The Danish National Patient Register (NPR) comprising 7,179,538 individuals in the period 1994-2018. Patients with a diagnosis code for IHD were included. Relative risks were used to quantify the strength of the association between diagnostic co-occurrences comprised of two diagnoses that were overrepresented in the same patients. Multiple linear regression models were then fitted to test for temporal associations among the diagnostic co-occurrences, termed length two disease trajectories. Length two disease trajectories were then used as basis for constructing disease trajectories of three diagnoses.

RESULTS: In a cohort of 570,157 IHD disease patients, we identified 1447 length two disease trajectories and 4729 significant length three disease trajectories. These included 459 distinct diagnoses. Disease trajectories were dominated by chronic diseases and not by common, acute diseases such as pneumonia. The temporal association of atrial fibrillation (AF) and IHD differed in different IHD subpopulations. We found an association between osteoarthritis (OA) and heart failure (HF) among patients diagnosed with OA, IHD, and then HF only.

CONCLUSIONS: The sequence of diagnoses is important in characterization of multi-morbidity in IHD patients as the disease trajectories. The study provides evidence that the timing of AF in IHD marks distinct IHD subpopulations; and secondly that the association between osteoarthritis and heart failure is dependent on IHD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalCardiovascular Diabetology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)87
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Cohort Studies
  • Heart Failure/diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Multimorbidity
  • Myocardial Ischemia/diagnosis
  • Osteoarthritis


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