Clustering of comorbidities and other stories . . .

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h4273 (Published 12 August 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4273

Multimorbidity is like the universe. Diseases can combine infinitely, but some kinds of clusters are much more common than others. In 7270 participants of the older cohort of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, three clusters seem to predominate (Age and Ageing 2015; doi:10.1093/ageing/afv095): musculoskeletal/somatic, neurological/mental health, and cardiovascular. Each predicted a different pattern of decline, and the investigators call for similar clustering studies using different cohorts of patients—a bit like mapping cosmic background radiation.

Pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, is an emerging screening tool for risk assessment in hypertension and cardiovascular disease, begins an article in the American Journal of Hypertension (2015; doi:10.1093/ajh/hpv127). In fact it emerged much earlier, thanks to decades of work by MF O’Rourke, who summarised its measurement in an article in the same journal 13 years ago (2002;15:426-44, doi:10.1016/S0895-7061(01)02319-6). The latest study shows that it has good reproducibility, and Minerva …

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