Classification of patients with osteoarthritis through clusters of comorbidities using 633,330 individuals from Spain

Marta Pineda-Moncusí, Francesco Dernie, Andrea Dell'Isola, Anne Kamps, Jos Runhaar, Subhashisa Swain, Weiya Zhang, Martin Englund, Irene Pitsillidou, Victoria Y Strauss, Danielle E Robinson, Daniel Prieto-Alhambra, Sara Khalid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To explore clustering of comorbidities among patients with a new diagnosis of osteoarthritis (OA) and estimate the 10-year mortality risk for each identified cluster.

METHODS: This is a population-based cohort study of individuals with first incident diagnosis of OA of the hip, knee, ankle/foot, wrist/hand, or 'unspecified' site between 2006 and 2020, using SIDIAP (a primary care database representative from Catalonia, Spain). At the time of OA diagnosis, conditions associated with OA in the literature that were found in ≥ 1% of the individuals (n = 35) were fitted into two cluster algorithms, K-means and latent class analysis (LCA). Models were assessed using a range of internal and external criteria evaluation procedures. Mortality risk of the obtained clusters was assessed by survival analysis using Cox proportional hazards.

RESULTS: We identified 633 330 patients with a diagnosis of OA. Our proposed best solution used LCA to identify four clusters: 'Low-morbidity (relatively low number of comorbidities), 'Back/neck pain plus mental health', 'Metabolic syndrome' and 'Multimorbidity' (higher prevalence of all study comorbidities). Compared with the 'Low-morbidity, the 'Multimorbidity' cluster had the highest risk of 10-year mortality (adjusted HR: 2.19 [95%CI: 2.15-2.23]), followed by 'Metabolic syndrome' (adjusted HR: 1.24 [95%CI: 1.22-1.27]]) and 'Back/neck pain plus mental health' (adjusted HR: 1.12 [95%CI: 1.09-1.15]).

CONCLUSION: Patients with a new diagnosis of OA can be clustered into groups based on their comorbidity profile, with significant differences in 10-year mortality risk. Further research is required to understand the interplay between OA and particular comorbidity groups, and the clinical significance of such results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3592-3600
JournalRheumatology (Oxford, England)
Issue number11
Early online date2023 Jan 23
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Orthopedics
  • Rheumatology and Autoimmunity


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